I’m typing this entire entry with one hand, and it’s taking me forever. There’s so much more that I could say, but I’m tired of typing so slow.
Began potting up tomatoes and tomatillos last night. I got all the Verde Puebla Tomatillos potted up, and a couple of varieties of tomatoes. I have my work cut out for me, as there is a lot more to do. I started with the flat, since those plants are older and bigger. (Tomatillos grow so fast! They are huge already.) I think potting up the Jiffy pellets will prove to be less shock on the plants, as the roots won’t get disturbed as I prick them out. In the flat, I have to pull the plant up by a leaf, using a knife or fork for support from below, and some roots always get broken. With the pellets, I’ll just plop the pellet into a bigger container after removing the netting, and the roots remain undisturbed. Makes me consider soil blocks more heavily. I’m actually pretty excited about trying soil blocks, if a little intimidated by the potting soil recipes…
I’ll have to snap and post a picture of where we start seeds. I basically make a mess in the unfinished lower level, and the pots are brought up to my craft/guest nook (which I also have yet to post pics of) to grow under the lights (four old shop lights). That means no crafting during seed starting season. At least not in the craft nook. As if I have time.
Speaking of time…I’m finding myself letting things slide this year. I’m just too consumed with kids and sleep (lack thereof, actually) and baby. Turns out it’s difficult to garden when you have a newish baby + three other kiddos, including one talky toddler who is also not sleeping. Now I know. It’s really, really hard for me, as I hate making excuses, and I wonder if I’m just making excuses for myself. But no, I think I can honestly say that I’m just plain filled to the brim, not being lazy. (Being lazy is one of my worst fears.) I’m kind of hard on myself, but that’s just the way it is. I didn’t sow anything in the cold frame yet, which means no onions from seed this year. Instead of paying a coupla bucks on seeds that I start in February completely organically right on my own property, I will now be spending $30 on onion sets started in Texas with who knows what. Or just skipping onions. We do have green onions and perennial scallions to eat now and through the summer and fall, but that won’t help next winter.
I bought a salad mix from the store last week. Kills me. I could have it all grown here, if I had the planning and time to get the cold frame or new hoop house going properly. Instead, I’ve got an empty cold frame and empty hoop house to taunt me as I drive back up the driveway from the grocery store with my organic mesclun grown in California. I’m hoping to have fresh salad from our own garden all next winter. For now, it’s time to cut myself some slack. I’m trying, I am.
This weekend will be nice, so we will get some work done. Hopefully plant salad greens and carrots, as well as re-plant peas. Yes, the peas all died. Never sprouted. The ground was damp when I sowed the sprouted peas, but I didn’t water until the next day, so I think they dried up. I have a few left to try again, but not a lot. I’m pretty bummed about the pea failure. “Devastated” would be more appropriate for my usual hyperbolic self, but it seems a touch dramatic. I’ll reserve that term for if my tomatoes fall to blight again. Then, I will not be exaggerating. All this work for tomatoes that die? So hard. Anyways…
…the chickens have been free ranging a few hours before sundown every night. This keeps them from wandering too terribly far, as well as protects against hawk losses (so far) as we are usually home to watch out for them. I know that a hawk loss is likely, given that I see hawks fly over our pasture every single day, but I’m willing to risk it for now. When they range, they are happier, eat less purchased feed, and pester each other less. They mostly stick to the woods, which also protects against hawk loss. It’s harder for a hawk to negotiate all those trees.
We eat a lot of eggs, but still, there are 6 – 8 dozen extra in our fridge at any given time. We have given lots away, but I’m wanting to sell enough to cover feed costs. $2.50/dozen if you’re local, stop on by. They are so good.