There are never enough hours in the day. And most definitely, not enough hours in the weekend.
If I have any hope of remembering all the things I need to do on any given weekend I must write them down.
If anyone is free this weekend and wants to come by to help.....here's what we'll be doing.
That is, if the rain everrrrrrrrr stops.
1. Plant Herbs
My friend Brenda over at Cozy Little House suggested I get Pineapple Sage. I have never tried it before, but last night when I was off the mountain I stopped at Lowe's, and there it was! I picked up two plants, and they need to be added to the patio herb garden.
2. Plant New Tree
This is the new tree I picked up last weekend. It's been sitting on the patio waiting for me to get it nestled in it's new home.
Next to my new tree is a Sand Cherry that my sweetie gave up on. I'll plant that baby up and bring it back to gorgeousness. Thanks, Sweetie!
3. Plant Weeping Pussy Willow
This lovely baby tree has been keeping me company at the kitchen sink, ever since my daughter gifted me with it for my birthday. The time has come to find it a home outdoors.
4. Plant Flowers and Fruit
While I was at Lowe's I picked up some annuals. Yippeeeeeeeee!! It will be lovely to see some color around here again! I'm watching the forecast carefully, and as soon as I see the all-clear I'll be potting these babies up. They will all be going in containers, so they can be brought in if need be....but I'm truly hoping I won't have to do that!
I was first drawn to the flower section at Lowe's by a heavenly scent....I could smell Stock but I couldn't find it! I followed my nose and it led me not only to Stock but also to Dahlias, Cleome, and Wave Petunias. I can't wait to get these planted and get spring truly started!
5. Fix Patio Lights
I spent hours and hours before Christmas carefully attaching my patio lights under all the deck railings, all the way around the deck. Well, the critters didn't care for them there, and chewed through them in a number of spots. I must now figure out how many full strands of lights I have left, and come up with a creative way to hang them....that won't annoy my critters.
6. Harden Off Seedlings
Before I can plant my seedlings outside, I need to harden them off. That basically means leaving them outside for longer and longer periods of time, until they are out overnight for a few days. At that point, they are hardened off and ready to plant out.
When hardening off your seedlings, you should start in a sheltered location out of direct sun or wind. I started by putting my trays on top of the BBQ, right up against the house, under the eaves. Then they go to the patio table for the next phase of the process.
The only seedlings that are ready to plant out right now are the Bok Choy and Fennel. The Cosmos, Sunflowers, and Zinnias (above) are still being brought in at night.
The Marigolds are going out next to begin the process.
The Balsam will be set out this weekend as well.
And the Castor Bean, Runner Bean, and Hyacinth Bean.
If the rain continues, there are plenty of inside chores to be done, including the following inside garden chores:
Last weekend I tackled thinning the eight million varieties of tomatoes I planted. Ok, maybe that's a tiny exaggeration but it surely felt like eight million at the time!
To thin seedlings, you must reduce the number of seedlings per cell to the strongest one seedling of the bunch. Survival of the fittest. You can do that by snipping away the weaker seedlings at the soil line with a small pair of scissors....but I didn't have the heart to send any of my tomatoes to their demise, so I carefully dug them out with a teaspoon, and planted them into their own little pot. I like having extra seedlings to share with my family and friends!
This weekend I must tackle the 6 million peppers. It's time.
8. Start Flowering Vines Indoors
Once I get some of the flats of seedlings moved out of the seed starting area, I can start my Morning Glories, Moonflower, and Gloriosa Lilies indoors.
Morning Glories need warm soil and regular warm temps to get going. Since we have such a short growing season on the mountain top, I am experimenting this year with starting them indoors, in order to give them a head start. I hope this will make for a more productive year, with lush vines and tons of flowers.
I will bring some pots inside, fill them with potting soil, and start these seeds right into the pots they will be living in. Morning Glories do not like their roots disturbed, so it's best to either start them right in the pots you want them in, or start them in peat pots you can plant directly in the garden. Otherwise, you should self sow right where you want them.
9. Feed the Seedlings
I just love watching those first shoots emerge from a seed you have carefully planted and nurtured along. The Zucchini just popped this morning - no doubt it will be quite sturdy before long!
I feed my seedlings once a week with a mild solution of a liquid organic fertilizer mixed with lukewarm water. They drink it right up!
10. Settle In and Watch the Show
If the rain keeps up, I will be spending some time indoors doing exactly what I did this morning - watching the show right outside my window.
There's no shortage of entertainment around here, to be enjoyed during my 'down' time.
It's because of this amazing show that I am so blessed to watch right from my cozy warm home, that I put up with the critters making a mess, and chewing through my patio lights.
Everything's a trade-off, right?
For me, this is worth it.