Last week I started my first round of seeds for the year and everything is germinating beautifully. Stock, snap, eucalyptus, sweet peas, poppies, bells are all looking good. Stock always germinates so quickly, I think it was only a couple of days in the germination chamber and then under lights.
And then almost a week later it is actually looking like a tray full of baby plants! These will go into the hoop house, I am hoping in about 5 weeks. We’ll see how much snow is still piled up in front of the doors.
Also last week I planted my ranunculus tubers after a week and half of cold treatment. This will be the second time I have tried ranunculus and I am hoping for better results than last year. They require a long growing period before they flower but when it gets too hot (like June) they start to shut down. So the hoop house is really going to help me out with this one. I hope. Again I am shooting for about four or five weeks and these guys will be headed out into the hoop as well. They have already started to lift the soil that they are planted in, which means there are glorious green shoots under there and they are about to emerge.
Now that my germination chamber is nearly empty (still a couple of pokey guys in there) I have room to start some more. On the schedule for this week godetia, nigella, and scabiosa. In a couple of days I am going to have to buy more lights for this operation since I am running out of room. In the past I have never had a need to start so many plants this early in the year but the addition of those hoop houses has has me thinking spring. Have I mentioned my excitement about the hoop houses….
No question about, summer is in full swing. I am covered in bug bites, the weeds are threatening to take over, there is a mountain of unreturned emails/phone calls to deal with, I cannot remember the last time I had a day off (maybe in May?), there are spiders living in my car, I wish we had a dishwasher, there is so much to do at the farm but it is hard to stay focussed in the heat of the afternoon. And, most importantly, I harvested the first sunflowers of the year a couple days ago. Yep, summer.
We finally started work outside yesterday and it felt good! My anxiety about the cold and wet spring is starting to disappear. I will still be a little behind with my flowering schedule for a couple of months but I am back on track now with my seeding schedule. I did skip a few weeks of seed sowing in the basement and sunflowers will have to wait at least another week to get seeded into the field. To make matters even better they are calling for decent weather all week.
The perennials are starting to come up and I have already seen that some of them have not made it through the winter. The last twelve months have been stressful for these guys and I’m sure that I will find more losses as the weather continues to warm and there are blank spots where there should be plants. That’s OK I was hoping to start over this year any way.
The daffodils are getting ready to flower. If it stays nice and sunny I expect there will be a few flowers by tomorrow, a couple of weeks later than “normal”. These very same daffodils were all opened up by the end of March last year and the year before it was the beginning of May. It seems like there is no normal any more only extremes one way or the other.