Friday, February 3, 2017
In the Gardens
But with the weather here in Northwest Ohio, it's 19° with winds at 7mph making the wind chill at 11° and I have no low tunnels (plastic over hoops that just cover the plants) so the gardening is in my head. Unless we count the paperwhites and Ameryst I am force blooming and the sweet potato that I have in water hoping for shouts to start slips.I really miss this rhubarb patch...though I am not looking forward to this springs work of separating it out, it needs to be done so it has more room. I have 2-3 people wanting my "extra" starts off it. Can there be extra when it comes to rhubarb?
I bought half my seed at Menards. They had 2017 Burpee seed at 1/3rd( some was almost half off) off and their 11% rebate. SCORE.
I ordered the rest using discounts. I stayed with what I know grows here at least 80% of the time. I gave up starting seeds a few years ago using grow lamps. Didn't get many out of it and the electric bill was just too high. Even though we have cut the bill almost in half on a regular bases, I'm not sure I want to try again right now. BUT I will start growing seeds for late fall and winter planting.
I have 68 different seeds (no broccoli, cauliflower,red or green cabbages,kohlrabi, as I get the transplants cheap at the auction...cheap is like anywhere from $3-$10 for a flat of 36-48 plants and that includes bell peppers, hot and mild peppers and tomatoes plants in May). We have decided to do winter gardening this year so I will be ordering a few more seeds to cover the winter. Same types that do will in the spring don't always do well in the fall.
I ordered another 10 yesterday and have 2 on the please notify if they come in stock again.
Right now the total cost is at $300 ( right on the mark) with a savings of $65. Those seeds will cover 2 years of planting some 3 yrs. I figure $ $200 a year for seed. That's a lot of money I used the money we saved from eating from the pantry during the month of Jan to pay for it. But really it isn't when you look at that grocery bill and see I spend on average $125 a month on fresh produce. from Oct to April, sometimes May depending on the weather. IF I grow it and do succession plantings (something I haven't been doing) and interplanting like radishes with the beets, green onions around the tomato plants) and do a winter garden that bill should cut down quite a bit. I won't even attempt to grow my mushrooms. I know that in July I will have to prep the winter gardens. I'm adding more work to myself, work days will be longer and more . I also know that I have to sit down NOW and plan what needs to be done at what time because it's not my norm ...when to start seeds for those fall plantings as I will want the plants to be ready to put in those fall gardens for this winter. I need to check the supple of pvc pipes we have and their conditions along with plastic and purchase some good row cover. I used to read MotherofaHubbard blog...she's moved to Four Petal Farm and is on FaceBook if you want to check her out.She's in zone 6A and I'm in 6B so I need to adjust for that. We get colder 2 wks before her and warm up 2 wks after.
I am going to start some of my spring seeds in water/milk jugs like this http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2011/01/making-a-greenhouse-sowing-seeds-updated/
I also pick the brains over at Old World Garden farms blog...they live across Ohio from me but the weather is usually very different, you wouldn't think so looking at a map. But we do get lake affect snow from Lake Michigan at times.
What are the goals for this gardening? that I can put fresh veggies on the table year around (which also means eating in season) and not spending money at the store...or money buying gas to run to the store. I know what has been put on the veggies or what sprays have been used (hot pepper spray to kill the bugs that eat the plant anyway, must have thought the spray was a condiment LOL)
I wouldn't have to spend $5 for a bunch of Swiss chard in mid winter when the garden seed is $1.99 for 250 seeds.
SO ready for spring.