Frost alert for SW Idaho

For the next few days the forecast is 33-36 degrees F. for the Treasure Valley.  According to my weather station my coldest overnight temp. was 39 degrees F.  I did not think I’d get frost, but having the frost cloth already in place sure added to my peace of mind about the plants I have in the garden bed.  I have straw around the berry plants but I have not added any frost cloth to cover the berry plants.

I need to increase the time irrigating with the soaker hose. The soil around the plants is already drying out in less than 24 hours.  I sort of expected that for the garden bed as my watering schedule has had interruptions with adding new hose and stuff.  I haven’t used a soaker hose system for the garden beds before so I may have to water longer than I originally thought to get to the roots of the plants in the garden beds.  It has been nice to play around with the soaker hose with this bed as I’m learning without sacrificing crops to over watering.  Honestly I expect the broccoli and cauliflower to bolt by June as I planted a little late for a spring crop.  That is okay as I’m trying new ways of planting and the fall crop should be much better as I’ll add extra calcium via crushed eggshells to augment the soil.

While the weather is a bit cooler I have started transplanting the plants I started indoors into larger pots. The little Jiffy planters are great but after a few of weeks, you need bigger pots and regular soil for the plants to thrive in that in-between stage of starts and garden ready plants.  I’m surprised that so many of my old seeds of 5-7 years old sprouted.  I would not rely on that, so I’ll be sprouting and starting as many plants this year for the succession garden plan. The seeds I used this year were not stored in any special way.  In fact I used a couple of shoe boxes.  Any seed I have leftover by this fall that is three years or older will be thrown away.  I’m not saying you should throw away older seeds.  Many of my old seeds surprised me by sprouting.   Buying new seed simply stacks the odds in my favor.

Talked to a neighbor across the alley, they are working on their garden area.  They say they will take any garden starts especially tomatoes. Since I’m transplanting all my starts and thinning the plants this gives me an opportunity to help out a young family grow a garden.  I always planned on helping Mom with transplants/starters, but I was a bit surprised by how many seeds actually started to become plants.  The sweet peppers are ready to plant but the some of the tomatoes and celery need to be thinned and transplanted into pots.  Mom says she will help me with process as she has a lot more experience handling those delicate plant starts.  Mom’s hands are much better than mine for that delicate work, though I do tend to be better at the brute force work.  I have a small seed starter tool but I did not use it.  Next time….

I’ve started the seasoning of my “burnt” cast iron skillet and it is going better than I expected.  I cooked some eggs for breakfast and some chicken quarters for dinner and using lard to the build up non-stick coating is going much faster than I had anticipated.

 

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