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Soil Temperature – It Matters!

April 16th, 2014

In the spring, many of us are excited to get planting and we see the phrase “as soon as soil can be worked” on our seed packet and plant things a little too early. Even though the soil can be worked, it’s cold, this causes delayed germination and in some cases seeds will rot in the ground before sprouting. It pays to wait an extra week before planting things like beets and peas.  Beets in particular seem to be very picky about soil temperature.
planting peas 2
Lettuce can be sown early, it will take longer to germinate than it does in slightly warmer temps, but the germination rates aren’t as drastically reduced as they are for other types of seeds since they’re so close to the surface. In most cases waiting a week won’t put you any farther behind as far as harvest scheduled go, since the seeds often take longer to germinate they end up coming up at the same time anyways, you just have less risk of seed damage or birds eating the seeds if you wait.
arugula seedlings
In my 5×5 Challenge Garden out front the arugula seeds have started to germinate. None of the lettuces have yet. It’s been a week since I sowed the seeds, the ones I planted in a seed flat indoors germinated in 2-3 days. This shows you how soil temperature affects seed germination.

Have you noticed differing germination rates of some things in the spring when the soil is cold? 

Moving On…

April 15th, 2014

Sugaring season is finally finished, my last batch of syrup was bottled up on Sunday.  I thought the season was over the previous weekend, but the trees decided to flow like crazy for one more day this past Thursday.  After collected 25 gallons of sap I added another half gallon to my finally tally, which was a pint or two over five gallons.
maple sugaring
On Saturday I gathered up all of my jars and removed all the spiles from the trees. I hadn’t counted when I put them, so I counted as I washed. 42 taps were put in probably about 35 trees. That’s a lot of jars to wash!
so long sugaring 1
so long sugaring 2
so long sugaring
One of things I love about sugaring is watching how the syrup changes color throughout the season. We’ve noticed that the first batch is always dark and the second is always light. Third and fourth batches area always dark as well. Such an interesting process to watch. Next year I’m hoping to tap a few birch trees as well, this year I just didn’t have the energy to content collecting and boiling sap.

Do you like light or dark maple syrup?

AH…..The Sun

April 14th, 2014

I’m soaking it up, I love the sun this time of year, it’s not quite as hot as it is in the heat of the summer.
Soaking up the Sun
I try to spend some time outside every day to soak up some vitamin D.

How’s the sun in your garden, is it still nice or is it starting to get hot?

Quote of the Day: Galileo Galilei

April 13th, 2014

“I’ve loved the stars to fondly to be fearful of the night”

- Galileo Galilei

moon 1 (1)
moon 2 (1)
moon 1
moon 1 (1)
I love the night stars and the moon as well. There’s nothing better than sitting out on a clear night watching the sky.

Do you enjoy stargazing?

And So It Begins Again…

April 12th, 2014

What? Weeding of course…
weeding 1
weeding 2
My biggest opponent is quack or couch grass. It’s a tenacious foe, but I will come out on top! Last year I battled valiantly and it receded, this year will be the same. Perhaps by next year I will have it eradicated from the potager behind the house and most of the big garden behind the garage.

What’s your most tenacious weed?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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