Posts Tagged ‘babbling’

To the greenhouse, seedlings!

I just moved the first trays of little seedlings from the safe haven of the heat mat in the kitchen, to the big bad world of the center shelf out in the greenhouse. Now as soon as they issue their second set of “true” leaves, they will go from their sprouting trays into their own little pots. So far there are tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, and some squash and sunflowers.
I am once again made aware of the jump ahead this little greenhouse gives me on spring planting as I step from it’s warm enclosed environment back into the outside world, and am greeted by the cool morning air against my cheeks. As luck would have it, this has been one of the more mild winter/ springs we have had in a while. There was about 3 weeks of copious rain all at once that made for MUCH mud, and everything smelled like wet turkeys. I did have four really good falls, where I went face down in it, and it was so much so that I had to go back in the house and completely strip off all clothes and put on dry ones. I have an over-sized pair of rubber boots that I can go galumphing around the pens in and keep my feet dry, although I am anything but graceful in them. The nice thing this year is it was not as cold as years past. We sometimes get up to 400 chill hours here. Now I know all of you from back east are saying “Pshaw-wimps!” but hey- this is California! We get to whine when it’s cold! We have the HAPPY cows- remember?
Four years ago we had a 10 year frost that killed my beautiful 60 foot long Eugenia¬†hedge that spanned the front of the property despite my best efforts to mulch and cover it (the only time I have ever wept over a plant).¬† I had the largest heating bill I have ever had since I owned the place, but did not care! That’s how cold it was!
Three years ago we had a horrible flood, and they actually showed up with trucks to evacuate us (we are down hill from a lake and dam area). The farm behind me had an inch of standing water (they are in the flood plain) and we lost some roads around us, but we remained mostly unscathed. A lot of my neighbors were not so lucky, and lost their homes and land and stock. We are lucky, as this old house is on a raised foundation, and the barn and greenhouse stayed dry for the most part. There were a few days of some confused little goats in dog kennels in the mud room, and the greenhouse looked like Noah’s ark when we crammed all of the poultry into it to dry off and get a reprieve from the mud. We had to navigate “Lake Driveway” for almost a month before it dried up, but there was no loss of any plants or animals that I recall.
This year, I heard we might get a little more rain this week sometime, but I also think we will just slip into a mild weather pattern soon. Still, I will take no chances with my little seedlings, and keep them safe in the greenhouse, and have the row covers and wall-o-waters handy for planting out just in case.