Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hollyhocks in February

Ok, so I'm a little overanxious for spring to arrive. Especially when a February day feels like an April day - today was fabulous! As I wandered around I noted there is green growth already amongst the old leaves of the Hollyhocks - isn't that neat!? Of course, too much mild weather right now could be disastrous if the trees and flowers start budding, so I'll enjoy the moment and hope things get back to normal soon.

I celebrated the warm day by sowing seed - indoors and outdoors. I started a few oregano and pansy seeds in seed cells in the house. Outside I worked up the soil in my black tubs and moved 3 of them to a spot where they can make the best of any sunshine that might break through. I then sowed Arugula, Endive, 2 types of Kale, and Komatsuna. I covered 2 of the tubs with glass panes and, for lack of more glass, I used clear plastic sheeting on the 3rd tub. I did this last year and had good results, because basically these work like a coldframe, absorbing the sun's warmth and keeping hardy seedlings warm enough to survive and even grow.

I smile to think of how popular re-using, re-purposing, and living a more frugal life has become. And I'm a huge advocate of that. It's just that I've done that most of my life and suddenly it's cool! My black tubs once held mineral-lick for my brother-in-law's cattle. The glass came from an old storm door. I saved the Komatsuna seed from last year's crop and traded for all the other seed using various other seed I still had from last year. And the soil is a combination of the dirt that was used in the tubs last year + compost created from our yard and kitchen waste. Oh, and the plant markers? Cut from old vinyl mini blinds, of course!

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