Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring updates

Spring is a VERY busy time for me.  Although it doesn't FEEL like spring with our cool temperatures this week and it doesn't LOOK like spring with the snow we had flying yesterday and the heavy frost on everything this is really spring!  Normally I would have lots of things going on in the greenhouse by now, but since we moved the greenhouse last November, and we didn't get the plastic on it until this past week, I am WAY FAR BEHIND in my work!!  But it might have been a good thing that I'm behind with the temperatures that we have been having!  All things work out for a reason, huh?
Getting the plastic on the greenhouse.
Thank goodness that our nephew Josh and his friends Marty and Chris Fette were available that day to help us hoist up 2 layers of heavy plastic over the greenhouse frame and help get it clamped down.  We couldn't have done it without them.
Shawn and Josh clamping down some of the plastic.
We also had the family working on it again a couple of days later to get things readjusted and pulled a little tighter and buttoned down a little more securely.  Our daughter Grace was a big help as well as our son Jake who stopped by to help with the project.
The inside of the greenhouse.  Larger than we had it before.
The following week was used to move the racks out and get them put into place.  There are still many things to do.  We have to install the large vents and put in a fan.  And Shawn will also have to dig in a water line and electrical.  But for now, I can run a hose from the hydrant by our back door and am happy to at least start to function in the greenhouse.  I had many plants that were left in our old backyard for the winter.  They endured the snow and ice and cold temperatures and are starting to reawaken for the season.
Chives coming back to life.  They are very hardy.
I had many hostas and daylillies in large pots and they are starting to come back up.  I also had chives, garlic chives, mints, and various other herbs leftover from last season that are starting to pop back up.
A French tarragon comes back to life.
A lovage plant is up and running.
I have lots of clean up tasks to do before I am really ready to go into pot production.  I scrub down all of the racks and I wash up all of the trays and pots left from the previous year.  So I was eager to move in my double washtub to begin the process.  I filled it with water, and then let it warm up in the sun before I stick my hands in there to wash up pots!  The weather hasn't been very agreeable about warming up my water thus far.  But if we have any sun at all, things will get pretty warm in the greenhouse in a hurry.  I have managed to wash up a couple hundred pots in the last couple of days.  I have a few more hundred to go.
My double wash tub.  It has washed a lot of pots and trays!
I have seed trays that I started in the back room of my shop and have them on a heat mat.  I have lots of herbs up and a few are ready to transplant.  I hope to move them out to the greenhouse this weekend and begin potting.  Grace also has many flower seeds started and we hope to dig up some plants around the yard for her plant sale at GardenFest in May.  We can begin this week to dig up some hollyhocks and black-eyed susans.  I also have 2 tubs of iris roots to pot up for the Master Gardeners' plant sale.  Someone donated them to me late last summer and I have been storing them in the basement this winter.  Next week is gonna get really busy!!!
We also have a wildflower project in 4-H this year.  So Grace and I traveled over to the woods last week during spring break to see if anything is up yet.  We didn't stay long because it started to rain.  There were several things up, but unless they are blooming, I have a hard time identifying them.  We hope to make a few more trips to the woods in the next few weeks to see what spring ephemerals we might find.  I'll post pictures when we do.
Grace and Tippy on our brief trip to the woods last week.  Tippy LOVES to look for wildflowers!
I have a full schedule booked for the next couple of months.  I did a garden show in February, one a couple of weeks ago, and now I have a show booked each weekend until the middle of May.  I also have a soap class scheduled for the first Sat. in June in Morgantown.  I hope to line up some classes at the shop in the near future.  Let me know if you are interested.
Next week well talk about transplanting seedlings!

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