Well, we are off for a spring break trip to Miami on Monday.  Seems the temp will be the same here as in Miami.  Doh.

When we come home, we are going to start some seeds (esp. tomato) under our grow lights in the basement.  I also did some winter sowing, so I am hoping those sprout for us eventually, too . . .

I am also hatching a plan for how to get some of the aged manure from my parents’ house an hour away from here down to my place.  I would like to top-dress our new beds with this, but maybe I should just buy compost by the yard.  It is more expensive than free, but also we shouldn’t plant in the manure, right?

And then there’s the lawn.

Oh bah.  I am getting all confused.

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At the AWESOME price of $45 each!!!!!  Recycling Minnesota is offering a price of $65 and then the Capitol Watershed District is giving another $20 per barrel of after that.  There are other deals for Ramsey/Washington County residents, too, so make sure you look at the Recycling Association of Minnesota‘s webpage if you are interested.

I got one to go under each downspout.  We will see if it is overkill, but at this price, I knew I would kick myself if we didn’t max out the deal now.  DH is none too keen on modifying the downspouts, but at least we have a month to get that done.  I can ruminate on how to do it efficiently because I know we’ll have to attach the long spouts again for fall/winter/early spring (freezy times).  If it’s too much work or something only he can do since I’m Ms. Shorty, then that wouldn’t be good!

So many exciting things are happening!!

  1. The tulips are poking up!
  2. The snow is gone!
  3. My brain is going crazy with gardening stuff to do!

I plan to build some stuff this week:

  1. A window-box type holder for the back porch railing
  2. Trellises for the alley garden
  3. Maybe work on converting some planters to self-waterers

Also need to further plan my beds!  Also need to figure out how to get the manure from my parents’ down to my house!

I have a call in to the Capitol Region Watershed District about their rain barrel grants.  I am hoping we can install several since they match what you pay dollar for dollar.

My thoughts are also turning to hardscaping – flagstone paths and edging in the front yard.

My wildest dreams are trying to figure out how to espalier a fruit tree on the front of the garage.

Some bummers, too:

  1. The bunnies chewed off the climbing roses so we only have one cane of old wood now.
  2. The hydrangea planted last fall is not showing any signs that it plans to come back, though I may not be looking for the right signs.
  3. No crocus or daffodil action yet.  I am, however, encouraged by the tulips.

Today’s item of research has been organic lawn care.  Should I aerate or not?  Should I apply fertilizer (Ringers was recommended) or just compost?  Bah!!  Although in the process I did find a nifty new permaculture forum that seems pretty active and welcoming.

Overall, though, a Yippeeeeeeeeee!

Ah, it’s January.  It’s cold, though warm this weekend, and we have a three-feet-deep snowpack.  Everything looks a little desolate.  But I’ve been dreaming, and have lots of projects to do to get ready for this growing season!

  1. Make self-watering containers.  I plan to convert all of our existing pots into self-watering containers.  Not exactly sure how to accomplish this yet, but working on it.  I believe it will involve scavenging flat plastic, ice cream buckets, and maybe a trip to Ax Man.
  2. Make a window box for the back railing. I would like to make a cool wooden box to hang from the back railing in which to plant lettuce in a bunny-proof location.  We even have a plastic window box that can live inside the boxes.  I’m thinking if my parents have some rough-looking lumber that would be cool.  They have a crapload of every kind of lumber 😉
  3. Winter sow! I am going to winter sow perennials and veggies.  Wish me luck.  We are in the accumulation-of-containers stage right now.
  4. Grow some lettuce indoors.  We are going to buy some grow lights tomorrow at Menards.  I thought it wouldn’t be worth it to get lights at the prices I saw online, but now I see you can just get a regular old cheapo shop fixture and buy a tube grow light; it doesn’t have to be a mucho bucko arrangement.  Plus if there are things I shouldn’t be winter sowing, I can start them inside later.  Would like to try to save some money buying baby plants.
  5. Contact Capitol Watershed District.  I want to put in for a grant for rain barrels, but when I inquired last summer, it sounded like someone from the Conservation District comes out to basically tell you what to propose in your grant.  They make grants year round.  Now seems like a good time 🙂
  6. Source some twigs. I would love to make some rustic looking supports but not sure where to obtain the thickish twigs to do so.  Hmmmm . . .