Friday, March 14, 2014

On the surface of things

Looking out the window, it's hard to believe I'll be putting anything in the ground anytime soon. On the surface of things, the world looks--and feels--like we might be entering a new ice age. The wind is whipping around the buildings, sneaking into any uninsulated crevices it can find, and rattling any loose parts. The temperature feels like it's in the teens.

But in a 24-cell tray on the counter, onion seeds are waking up. In another tray, lettuce seedlings have already said their hellos. Spring will indeed be coming. When...well...that's beyond my powers of prediction.  The deer hope it will be soon.

This is the first year I'm growing onions, unless you count the six whole scallions I grew last year, as an afterthought. I seeded this year's batch on March 8, after soaking them in a compost tea. It is supposed to help with damping off, which I ran into with some of my pepper seedlings last year. They haven't made their appearance yet, but the spot in the kitchen where they're sleeping is not particularly warm.

The lettuce seeds, however, seem thrilled. They were seeded on March 9, and they're already up.  When they're big enough, I'll transplant some into the garden in Massachusetts, and some into pots to keep inside. We should be eating fresh lettuce by the end of April (earlier, if I take baby leaves from the side of the plants).

For now, though, there's a lentil and rice soup simmering on the stove, and we'll keep bundling up in (many) layers to head outside.  Except for Shiloh and Montana, who can't figure out why it takes so long to get out the door for a walk.


Nicki Landaker said...

Compost tea? How does it help?

Christine said...

I have no idea. :) I read it in my organic gardening book, and tried it. I suppose I should look that up...

Larry Charbonneau said...

The plants drink it then become more civilized (in their opinion), talk with a funny accent, and holiday in caravans.