Gourds Out/Seeds In!

Most of the snow is melted now – except, of course, the mountains that local towns dumped in parks around the area. I suspect some of them will not melt away completely until late May!

IMG_2037I spent an afternoon out in the greenhouse trying to make space for starting seeds. The first thing I did was to collect and remove all of the gourds that were spread out on the benches to dry. They are 99% dried and have been relegated to the side porch to deal with later.

IMG_2039Once the gourds were out of the way, I pulled out the bags of seed starter mix and some clean plastic trays. All of the tomatoes (6 kinds) have been planted as well as some white foxglove, leeks and lavender. Over the next couple of weeks, I will plant the rest of the early starts. Needless to say, I have a little heater out there to maintain warmish temperatures. I’ve put it on a timer so that it cycles off and on to conserve energy.

I was tempted to put the Rosemary outside, but having kept two of them alive and very healthy through the winter, I decided to give them a week more shelter. It is a bother tripping over them to water the flats, but over the weekend I will probably just move them to the side porch and keep them there until I know the weather will remain warm.

I’ve started the pumpkin peppers in the house on a heating mat and once they germinate and get some true leaves I will move them to the greenhouse or to a hoop house outside.

I’ve also started deciding where to plant what this year – which usually means being very creative about fitting in more than I thought I could. Couldn’t pass up the seeds for some bushel gourds. Although they are never quite bushel basket size, I keep hoping – and promising extra fertilizer and care to get them as big as I can. I also ordered some new (to me) gourds called “Lunch Lady”. Who could resist with a name like that and a warty surface!?

IMG_2041

Empty beds are so full of promise! The fenced bed in the middle is an asparagus bed and the round rings in the front and furthest beds in this photo are for tomatoes. I use a fabulous “shrubbler” system from Lee Valley Tools and will post photos of it later in the season when I install it.

About Susan Guagliumi

I am an author, craftsperson and a gardener. My proposal for a book tentatively titled "The Artful Gardener" was just accepted by Stewart, Tibori and Chang Publishers. Although this will be my fifth book, it is the first outside the area of hand/machine knitting. The manuscript is due early in 2013 and the book is scheduled for Spring of 2014. A somewhat longer process than giving birth to a child, embarking on an author's journey can be just as daunting, exciting and almost as fulfilling.
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