Another Garden Intermission

Well the hallway kicked my butt and is not in fact really done – the door hung poorly and needs to be replaced. Anyway, on to the back bedroom next – where a lot has already been done! Coming in the next post…..

In the meantime, it’s February 15th, officially 6 weeks until our average last frost date here in Zone 6B. (You can find your hardinesIt’s als zone by zip code here). It’s time to start gardening in earnest! Although it’s been bitterly cold here the last couple of days, down to below 10 degrees. Today, although it’s really sunny!,  the wind is whipping the snow from yesterday all around and with the windchill it feels like -10 degrees. Not that I have personal experience of that, I’m holing up in the house! And reminding myself ….. “And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!” 

Last weekend was nice though, just warm enough to dig post holes (barely) , so Karim and I put in a single 4′ x 4′ x 4′ compost bin, using all wood we already had (2 x 4’s from the closet demolition mostly). Compost had to be done as it was piling up all around. We’ve been storing it in empty 30lb cat litter containers and home-store buckets in the garage and it was overflowing, as we apparently produce a lot of vegetable waste.


The Finished Product


Leaves & Straw For ‘Brown’

IMG_5504 IMG_5507 I saw a TedX talk about composting where the speaker said not to use kitchen waste at all – he was a proponent of just shredded leaves and coffee grounds. Kitchen waste takes a long time to decompose and it’s hard to get the nitrogen-carbon ratio right, he said. I see the point, but I think for many home growers – including me – part of the whole point of composting IS  recycling that waste. As for the issue of the ratio – just use LOTS of leaves, in addition to your wet scraps. You need way more brown than green. He also said to chop/shred whatever you put in. Which I do not do…. I guess I’ll just resign myself to lots of turning this year, and hope for the best!

By the way, while digging the post holes for the compost bin (and roughing up the ground for the worms), I found these sweet little bulbs growing about 4″ down…..

IMG_5463They look like green onions, but I’m not sure. Further evidence of the coming spring!

IMG_5464More exciting than that, though –  today I put in all the chile seeds in to germinate! 49 little peat pots of potential 😉  New Mexico ‘Big Jim’ and ‘NuMex Hot’, ‘Bolivian rainbow’, “Thai hot’, ‘Tabasco’, ‘Anaheim’, ‘Spicy Fiesta’ (it’s a burpee hybrid), and of course jalapenos and bells. (I guess I should use a disclaimer – these are all internet pics!).


Jiffy Seed Starter


Chiles Going In


They are sitting on my homemade heat mat, downstairs in what I can now see is going to be the ‘greenhouse’ until a proper greenhouse goes up. It’s a lovely little part of the house, the alcove where you enter the downstairs apartment. It’s got the best window in the whole house, huge and facing south. Even though it’s insanely cold today as I mentioned, downstairs is about 55 degrees, and the inside of the little Jiffy Greenhouse I am using is about 75 and steamy. Not quite as warm as I had hoped for actually, but it is just so so cold right now.


Eddie wanted to help!


It’s already steamy in there 😉

I’ll keep you posted about the heat issue…. Hopefully it will warm up in there!

Next post – on to the  back bedroom!





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