Saturday, April 20, 2013

an afternoon in the greenhouse

After the past few days of cloudy, snowy weather it was nice to get a little sunshine therapy in the greenhouse.  I had on my to do list for this weekend to transplant the rest of the tomatoes into bigger cups and to get the melon seeds started.

Nikole selected the tomato seeds and this year we are growing an heirloom, a large red indeterminate, a cherry tomato and a paste tomato, so if all goes well we should have a nice selection of tomatoes.  We planted some early and are hoping that they can be in pots and ready to flower by the time it is warm enough to set them outside.  We planted some later that will go into the garden as a transplant.  We have extra seedlings which should allow us to have more tomatoes for canning or for sale as plants or as produce.  Saw an online article about a new way to plant tomatoes and I think i will give it a try as an experiment.  A bucket or waste basket with holes drilled in the bottom and around the sides about 10 inches up is placed in a hole in the garden with the top row of holes just above the soil line.  Five tomato plants are planted around the bucket.  A cylinder of fencing is then placed around the tomato plants as a tomato cage.  In the bucket goes a couple shovelfuls of compost and the bucket is filled up every couple days with water.  I am picturing this as a constant supply of compost tea.  I think I will plant five more of the same variety conventionally and compare the two groups as far as yield, taste, disease resistance.  I think if I have a couple of marked containers for harvest it should be easy to keep records.

Now that we have extra space it will be fun to try our hand at melons.  This year Nikole selected a watermelon and a cantaloupe.  She was thinking that we still had seeds from last year for a honeydew melon that we never used but when I found the seeds it was a muskmelon.  We also had a seed packet that was not dated from Burgess that was for another cantaloupe variety.  I think that might have been a freebie that they sent with something my mom may have ordered.  I planted them all and if they all come we may have lots of cantaloupe seedlings.  The seed packet directions suggest two ways of planting melons and I am going to try them both as an experiment and see which works better and makes better use of the available space.  One method is more of a hill type arrangement and the other is a row arrangement. 

The basil, thyme and kohlrabi that was planted on the 12th are sprouting.  The parsley, rosemary and dill have not yet.  Next weekend it will be time to start the squashes...

And as an update--the replacement pear tree arrived today.  I have not unwrapped it yet but I did shovel around last years tree and dug it up.  The ground is thawed down at least a foot and it was easy to dig but the soil is pretty wet so I decided to allow the soil to dry out a little bit and plant it tomorrow when it is supposed to be 50 degrees out.  Then tonight I hear that there is a chance of rain or snow during the night.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it holds off until I get the tree in the ground.

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