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Although it is still officially winter, and we know what
wild weather March can bring, spring is trying hard to arrive. A week of sunny days has brought the crocuses up, the forsythia is getting
ready, and tulip leaves are poking through the earth. Birds are singing and flirting and, as of this week, we have
three new lambs. They really do gambol, and they truly are delightful to watch.
We’ve started germinating seeds, so that by the time the
days are long and warm enough, we will be able to transplant our summer
vegetables and flowers into the small greenhouse and large gardens. Some seeds, of course, are not so tender and
can be planted directly into the garden.
In many parts of B.C., Queen Victoria’s Birthday, the 24th of
May, is the traditional date for transplanting tender plants.
Some vegetables even last through the winter. Believe it or not, in mid-February we ate
our last Long Keeper tomato, stored from last summer’s crop. We are still pulling up from the garden last
year’s leeks, carrots and parsnips.
And, the incredible garlic cloves that were planted in October),
over-winter beautifully, and will be ready to harvest July.
Some seeds (peas, sweet peas) can go directly into the
ground just about now, and some must wait until the danger of frost is passed.
Mid April is the frost-free date in our wonderfully mild climate. For the seeds
that we are germinating now, the process is very simple. Fill the plant cubes with organic seed
starting soil (our own mix), put in the seeds at varying depths. We place the planted cubes in trays without
holes, so that we can pour water in the bottom, watering from below, thus not
disturbing the seeds in their soil bed.
Germination starts with these trays in the loft. Heat from the wood
stove drifts upwards and the seeds revel in the warm and relatively dark
Once the seeds have germinated, and the seedlings are poking
through the soil, they want light as well as warmth. We move the trays down onto the main floor of the house, where we
have set up tables near large sliding glass doors. Lots of light and still plenty warm. Every day we check their progress.
August 03, 2008 August Cornucopia
March 02, 2008 Spring 08
May 04, 2007 New sheep for spring
December 04, 2006 Winter comes early
August 30, 2006 Harvest Time
May 29, 2006 Spring 2006
February 03, 2006 Wet and Windy Winter
December 04, 2005 Getting ready for winter
July 27, 2005 Summer's Here
May 31, 2005 Spring Planting
March 20, 2005 Almost Spring on Salt Spring Island
March 12, 2005 Salt Spring Island in Winter