Friday, February 18, 2011


We're having a heat wave here in MA--it might get all the way up to 50 degrees today. I never thought the sound of melting snow would be so glorious.

I still don't think I'll see grass in my backyard before April, but it's a relief to see the tops of the stone pillars and scrubby bushes again.

So this has got me thinking about gardening.

My sister sent me some leftover seeds from her garden last year--several different kinds of tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers, and various herbs. I filled that out with a seed order for the rest of the herbs, some additional tomatoes and peppers, greens (spinach, arugula, kale, chard, mache, sorrel), corn, peas, bush beans, beets, pie pumpkins, carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, leeks, scallions and strawberries.

The full complement of herbs will include three different kinds of basil (regular, purple, Thai), oregano, sage, rosemary, chives, mint, borage, chervil, cilantro, dill, marjoram, tarragon, thyme, catnip and catgrass, two different kinds of parsley, and lavendar. I threw in blue hyssop and nasturtiums, as well. Blue hyssop will attract bees and butterflies, and the nasturtiums are edible flowers.

A good all-around garden, no? Plus I still have all those containers from my patio garden in San Diego, so the herbs can go in there for close-to-year-round harvesting.

So, my first question is:

Should I continue my CSA membership through the summer?

Logic would dictate yes, since if the garden doesn't take off, I'll still have fresh fruits and vegetables all summer long. (And the membership runs from May to November.) But it's an additional cost, obviously, and I fear being up to my eyeballs in greenery and vegetables by July. Perhaps I'll continue the membership for this year, see how everything does, and adjust accordingly next year.

And the next question is:

How and when should I start all these seeds?

The sunroom is the obvious choice for seed starting, since it gets the most direct sunlight and it's out of the way. But it's COLD in there this time of year. I'd either have to heat the room (an exhorbitant cost, given the three glass walls) or keep the seeds on heating pads constantly--and I don't know if that would be enough, given the 40-degree ambient temperature. Also, given that I couldn't put the plants into the ground until (I'm assuming) late May at the earliest, do I start those now? Or wait a bit, and hope the sunroom warms up a tad?

Either way I'm starting the herbs and the cold-weather crops now.

Any gardeners out there, feel free to weigh in...

1 comment:

  1. Well, when you're starting seeds, you don't need them in direct sunlight until they sprout. You do, however, want them nice and warm. The heating pad is a great idea, but I just plan on placing mine close to one of the heater vents. It's also important to keep the planted seeds moist, so keep them covered until they sprout. It's still a little early (unless you want early tomatoes) to plant the seeds. I'd wait until mid March or early April. Hope this helps!