Wow, last week we had snow three times and 5 degree windchills. This week, it's birds chirping and 50-60 degrees. Crazy weather for sure. But, we have to get cracking, before Spring is here...that doesn't mean we can't have SNOW--even MAJOR snow,
since it is Chicagoland!
I'm really late this year on getting my plants started.
Why?---because we are cutting back on Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Summer squash this year.
Why? Because if you visit my house--you walk away with a box of a dozen canning jars full of tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, zucchini in tomatoes, summer squash in tomatoes, tomato relish and another half dozen sauces...! Yes, our larder is still full.
Upside, my family likes them all, and they give the jars back.
So, we are planning on more root vegetables, flowers, and some different things. Who doesn't love fresh produce from the garden?
What I have started now: (some of these plants will go to friends)
12 tomato Plants (Better Boy)
12 eggplant (the long skinny Asian)
8 Bell peppers (for Pots on porch and around garden)
8 Carnival-mixed peppers (for Pots on porch and around garden)
8 Serrano peppers (these we will pot, too by themselves--so they don't cross pollinate.)
In the Greenhouse, I will start a couple of long planters with Lettuce and onions, and a planter of Nasturtiums, (these take awhile to germinate.) The bees love Marigolds and Nasturtiums, so I have those around the garden, where ever we need plants fertilized. Marigolds are heat and drought tolerant---their only enemy seems to be slugs, which will eat young plants.oldnewgreenredo
When buying your seeds,
TIP: Remember to buy extra lettuce seeds and radishes for sowing periodically until Fall. Our N. Illinois record heat killed two batches of lettuce last year. I'm going to try and keep them in half-shade this year. We were also so DRY! Onion seeds take a very long time in our short season, so I buy onion sets for green onions.
What I Need to start in the Greenhouse:
I will be starting my giant Elephant Ears and some old Caladium corms, as well as a bag of new Caladiums in planters. These are easy to transplant where you want later in Spring, because they take so LONG to germinate, 6-8 weeks or more.
Also, starting Coleus in trays with covers, (these also take a long time to germinate).
We don't have water in the greenhouse yet, which will be a pain. If the weather holds above freezing we can hook up the water soon. We also can turn on a heater if need be when temps dip real low. The insulation we put in the greenhouse has kept it pretty warm, but on one side it has sunk down and will have to be redone and a waterproof surface added.
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