Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Day and Some Spring Ramblings

Happy Leap Year Day!!!!

There are signs of spring abounding outside.  I'm normally ecstatic about that.  I know all you southerners are rolling your eyes and going "duh".  But here in the midwest, this is quite unusual.  We are Zone 6a and our last frost date is April 15th-30th.  It feels... not quite right.  It's like we just skipped from January to March!!

Today's temperatures will be between 65 and 70 degrees and will likely be the same for the next couple of days with a bit cooler temps after that--but still unseasonably warm.

I've been watching the Maple trees.  The buds are flowering already.
We've had high pollen warnings for weeks now.
Oh the sinuses!!

 Granted, I'm not really familiar with maple trees since we were constantly surrounded by oak trees in the past--which take FOREVER to bud out!!  But it still seems... weird.

Then this morning I spied this while taking some leftovers to our Great Pyrenees, Daisy...
Honeysuckle leaves

And a bit later I noticed a familiar sound.  The "Coah, cooo, cooo, coo" of a Mourning Dove.  Mourning doves are generally migratory.  At our old place at the Lake of the Ozarks there were a lot of Mourning Doves that didn't migrate.  I always thought it odd that they didn't "coo" in the winter until I learned that it's mostly a mating call.  No mating until warm weather therefore no calling in the freezing winter temps.  Makes sense!  And even at the old place (farther south) we never heard them calling until mid to late March. 

We have other types of doves here that we didn't have at the old place.  And they make all sorts of noise in the winter.  Some mornings that was the only bird song I could hear.  They almost sound like an owl hooting.

So with signs of spring abounding I am preparing as best as I can.  I don't want to get anything out in the garden too early since I have no idea whether the weather will turn bad.  Missouri is notorious for extremes from one day to the next.  I feel... cautious.

I have lots of seeds planted in 3 72 cell Jiffy seed starting trays.  I LOVE these trays!!!  I've used them for years.  And if I put them away after planting I just have to buy refill pellets and can reuse the trays.  Doesn't always happen and they get torn up.  But sometimes I remember.  :-)

This tray is my tomatoes, peppers and ruhbarb...
The peppers still haven't come up and the asparagus never sprouted.

I've got a few spaces open that I still have to fill up but some of the tomato seedlings are too tall to keep the clear lid on now. 

Last spring Daughter #3 discovered a tomato seedling sprouting in their sink in the little appartment they shared in our warehouse at the old place.  (Not the greatest of housekeepers, huh?!!!)  It was from a store-bought tomato.  And she put the little guy into a Jiffy pellet and then a Jiffy peat pot and nurtured it with tender loving care.  She set it in the window and turned it many times a day and played music for it.  :-)  Needless to say that her tomato plant which had sprouted 3 weeks after I had planted my tomato seeds was over a foot tall and amazingly beautiful (thus making my efforts seem most pitiful!!) when it was time to plant them outside. 

We collected seeds from some of her tomatoes last fall and I saved them in a baggie for her.  Sadly I misplaced them and while we looked high and low we never found them.  Thankfully I had kept a few of the green tomatoes when we pulled the plants up late last fall and had them in a hanging basket.  We had eaten nearly all of them as they ripened but a few just got left there in the basket to wrinkle up.  (Now who's not the greatest of housekeepers?!!)  So last weekend I thought I would cut them open and get some seeds out to sprout for her.  I was shocked to discover that inside these withered, wrinkled tomatoes were baby plants growing from the seeds there inside the tomato.  Seriously!!  (I didn't think to take a picture of this curious thing!!  Duh!!)  I carefully dug the plants out of the tomato and planted them in my tray...
See the curly sprouts in the row in the middle row of this picture?
Those are the plants that were growing inside the tomato!!
Very curious!

Another odd thing...
See those tiny little sprouts?
Those are Lavender seedlings from the seeds I stratified.
When I opened the baggie to plant the seeds I found all of those sprouts.
They had sprouted right inside the baggie in the refrigerator!!!

There are 3 rows of the Lavender and the rest is the other seeds that I stratifed plus some Wild Bergamot, Peppermint and Feverfew.

My new tray is Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, 6 different types of Basil, Catnip, Anise Hyssop, German Chamomile, Sage and Greek Oregano.

The seeds are old and I overplanted each cell hoping that something will sprout.  I will probaby just throw away the leftover seeds since most of them are for the year 2008 planting season.  And they weren't kept as well as they should have been.  :-( 

So I am well on my way to having a bountiful garden...  If I can figure out this weather thing!!

1 comment:

Chatty Crone said...

You are on your way to having a beautiful garden - I can tell you are an experienced gardener - I don;t know much but I know that and can't wait to see your garden grow! sandie