Monday, March 21, 2011

Feverishly farming

Yesterday and the day before I spent the entire day on the couch. I got up for the following reasons: to feed the dogs, to make tea, to go to the bathroom, and once, to get the thermometer, which showed me that yes, I had a high fever. Not that there was any doubt. I probably have strep or something like that, but maybe not - maybe it's just a hellish flu. Just starting Day 4 and it looks like another sllloooowwww day. harumph.

It's been long enough since I've been sick like this that I can't recall the last time clearly. And I certainly can't remember being couch-bound like this. I just have no motivation to move off it. But, from my couch, with my trusty computer, I can plan. Garden plan!

I've found some cool plans online that deal with rope lights as a form of keeping the soil in your starts warm. I'm going to use the rope lights and some of the plethora of leftover insulation to build start-warmers.

I'm also going to build some racks for holding my seedlings - my house is small enough that having them all out on a horizontal space makes for tight quarters, especially once the first batch of chicks come into the house in a few weeks.

I ordered a bunch of seeds a few days ago from Territorial Seed Company. I actually repeated my order for a lot of things, but this year, I must do a better track of logging which plants make it and which don't. It will be interesting to see if I got the squash correct. Last year I got a bunch of squash starts from Craig and so I'm not sure if it was my batch or his that excelled but one kind had a thicker skin and was therefor more resistant to mold and blossom rot. And the tomatoes... who knows. They were all so cold that they produced very little in actual fruit. I can only hope to revamp this by creating two houses - one that is warmer than the other.

I've also been looking into hoop houses built out of conduit. My friend Kathy has been telling me about this for about six months and for some reason I figure it was cost prohibitive. But I went online today and saw that conduit was actually only about 40 cents more per 10-foot stick than pvc. And since it's stronger, you can put in about half as many ribs. I found a great manual on how to build them from Johnny's Seeds and it looks pretty good. So it's going to be a whole new learning curve again (excuse the pun). But I'm looking forward to a more permanent structure.

... A day later (I couldn't even finish that post after mustering energy to go into town and buy Pro Mix, I was toast for the rest of the day). But this morning, the little men with evil drills had left my head for the most part, and I managed to plant my first batch of starts. I don't have my lights set up yet, nor my shelves built, but at least the seeds are in the ground. Let the madness begin!

1 comment:

charlie said...

Did I remember to send you any "longkeeper" tomato seeds yet? They're the MOST amazing thing you'll ever grow. Last yr they lasted through the winter until we ate the last one April 1st. No telling how long they'll keep. This yr too much heavy rain before I got around to harvesting them resulted in many loses due to rot. Lesson learned keep the fruit dry.
Nothing new here. Suzy in bed here with little chest cold. So I get time to get caught up on blogs and other sedentary stuff. Otherwise nothing much new here, except too much rain and cold. But flowers and buds coming on anyway.
Great to hear about your Hawaii adventures. Give those rascals a big hug from suzy and I. They're pretty lucky to have such a great mom!!