Time to dust off the blog and start planning and planting

Yawn, I guess it is time to wake up from the lazy winter slumber and start getting ready for the 2015 gardening season.

We have had another cold and snowy winter here in the garden. Just like last year, we again had more than the normal below zero temperatures and above average snowfall. Below are a couple shots of the house after one of the heavier storms. No pictures of the cold. Cold is just cold and not very photogenic.

Plenty of snow in the front of the house

Plenty of snow in the front of the house

Plenty of snow in the back of the house.

Plenty of snow in the back of the house.

 

In the past week, almost all of the snow has finally melted and revealed the soggy, sloppy mess underneath. I was brave enough to venture through the backyard to get the first visit to the garden of 2015. I didn’t hang around too long as even the graveled walkways were spongy and soft. Aside from being very wet, the garden seemed to hold up pretty well this winter. I am hoping that I can get a year off from making bed repairs.

Finally the snow is gone

Finally the snow is gone

Another view of the soggy garden along with the rotting brussel sprout plants from last year

Another view of the soggy garden along with the rotting Brussels sprout plants from last year

With the snow melting and the temperatures warming, it was time to place the seed order for this year. A lot of repeats but there are a few new replacements. In particular, I am trying a whole new set of tomato varieties. Below is a picture showing the array of seed packets that have arrived so far.

This years seed purchase

This years seed purchase

 

With the seeds in hand and the calendar indicating that it is now about 7-8 weeks from the frost date here, I set out to get my new tomato seeds started. I am re-using the seed starting kit purchased last year from Burpee but this time around I am not bothering with those little compressed plugs and just using regular seed starting soil. The weather was so nice today, 55 degrees, that I even did the beginning messy steps outside on the deck. You know it has been a cold winter when you can be outside and happy in a short sleeve t-shirt at 55 degrees. 😉

Time to start planting some seeds

Time to start planting some seeds

Thirty two cells full of new soil and no waiting.  Step right up, who wants to be first.

Thirty two cells full of new soil and no waiting. Step right up, who wants to be first.

I don’t need 36 tomato plants. In the end, I ended up just planting two columns (8 cells) of each of the three varieties. In reality, I don’t need 24 either. I really only need about 8 plants total. So, if these guys take off and do well, I will be looking to find the extras a good home.

 

Planted, watered and fed.

Planted, watered and fed.

What? You don’t feed your tomatoes with Hershey’s Triple Layer Chocolate Hot Fudge cake mix when you plant the seeds? It is the secret to sweet tomatoes. 🙂

New home for the next couple months.

New home for the next couple months.

Now that the tomatoes are all planted, they have all been moved to their new home in the basement. I was a bit skeptical that it would work out but last year they seemed to do pretty well. One improvement that I am planning is to get a second light which will cover the full depth of the seed tray.  Last year, once the plants got started, they kept leaning back and forth to try and get to the light.

Getting an earlier start and hopefully a warmer spring and I (along with family, coworkers and neighbors) should be enjoying some fresh tomatoes in 4-5 months.

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