This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Feb 26, 2011



I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing on my mind was, “Oh no! I left the pansies in the greenhouse…uncovered!”

I went out to check on things- needless to say after a night with 16.5 temps in there, the pansies were not happy. I left them out there to fend for themselves after taking the shot of the watering cans! You would think later on that night I would have remembered to bring them in since they were in that picture! I was lucky they weren’t black- pansies are pretty cold hardy though.

I decided a slow thaw would be best, so I placed a clear dome on them for about an hour. Later when the temp had reached 35 degrees, I brought them in and put them under the lights- without the bottom heat. After a couple hours of that I turned the bottom heat on. A day later here is what they look like…


Some look okay, some don’t- we’ll see what happens. I’m sure I’ll see more damage in the coming weeks- glad I started some more.


The other things I had growing in the greenhouse seemed fine, thankfully. I had these covered with the second layer of protection and then last night was so cold that I added a blanket- when I went to bed it was 9.2 degrees in there!

Upon waking this morning I saw that the low had dipped to 0.3 in the greenhouse. Outside was –6. I waited for the temps to get to 35 degrees and then uncovered the bed-



Everything looks fine after it thaws, just as Eliot Coleman writes about in his books- truly amazing! These tests will come in handy when we put up our big greenhouse some day.

The lids that I had to make quickly for the small greenhouse ground bed worked very well-

I really wanted more of a cold frame like lid with it slanted toward the south, but these are the materials I had on hand- they’ll be nice when the plants get some height to them. I made 3 of them for ease of removal, instead of one long one- it would have been awkward to take them on and off for sure. 

The experiments continue- very fun! Which reminds me…I need to check on the winter sown babies to see how they did with this freezing weather!


Happy Gardening,



Feb 25, 2011

It’s the Little Things…


I know it’s not much…but it is a huge thing for my seedlings! I’ve been looking for a watering can that is gentle enough for seedlings, but all the watering cans I’ve tried leak and drip- very annoying! I’ve yet to spend the $ for the ultimate watering can- the Haws, beautiful…expensive.

Not long ago, on a clearance rack, I saw one from Good Grips. It looked interesting and sturdy with it’s rubber rose (a better seal is possible with rubber, I thought), but I was so tired of being disappointed with leaky watering cans that I passed it up. The need for a good watering can is great this time of year as using hoses is not possible- so the other day I looked again in the gardening section of Fred Meyer.

There were 3 Good Grips cans on another clearance rack- now another 50% off the lowest marked price! I debated whether I should get them all, but one was missing its rose, so I left with a larger one and a smaller one. Cha-ching, score!- total of $9. This ended up being a great deal because…ta-da…they don’t leak!

I’m hoping to get a much bigger one!


Happy gardening to you,



Feb 23, 2011

Winter Sown Success!


Yesterday, I decided I’d better check on my first winter sown project. With all the snow we’ve had, and it was a heavy snow, I was a little concerned that they might need a little air. I was so surprised when I lifted the lids to find that they had maybe just a little too much water, but not much. And an even bigger surprise was the Dianthus I sowed on 2/4 had germinated! The seed pack says 10-14 days for germination and I thought for sure that it would be later with the sun, cold, freezing, thawing, etc. that these containers have gone through with the recent snow and all!

Hopefully, you can see the little sprout- right in the center. There are more scattered across the soil, here and there. I’m just so surprised to see that it worked! All I had to do was make the containers, plant, and cover- that’s it? Really? For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know what an elaborate light set up I have…well, it’s not that elaborate really, but in comparison to the simplicity of winter sowing it is so much more work!

I’m not totally sold yet, however, there is the issue of thinning- or more accurately, the lack of thinning, and transplanting in ‘clumps’ that is to come…we’ll see how it goes! But for now I’m liking it and it really does leave a lot of room for starting more seeds than I have room for in either my light set up or the greenhouse and cold frames…and with very little effort on my part, which is always a good thing! I also need to go and do some reading on the winter sown site to see what to do next…

I hope your winter sowing projects are coming along nicely too,

Happy almost spring!


Feb 21, 2011

Just a little bit going on


Well with all the snow, not much is going on. The pansy started in Jan. is doing well and I’ve been taking them to the greenhouse on sunny days. I’ve also started some more in micro blocks- they’ll spend a week in the garage in a dark, cold spot for a week before moving them to a heat mat, as usual.


The small ground bed in the greenhouse has a few things in it- and with the sun hanging around more, starting about mid-Feb., we start seeing some growth kicking in- slow but noticeable.


Everything has germinated. Carrot, radish, spinach, lettuce and mache. Mache always has spotty germination- and some older lettuce seeds didn’t germinate well either- I’ll just start something else in that spot soon. These little rows aren’t much, but it was a way to get me going more so than the crops!

We also have some bulbs up- just a few in a pot that I had extra from a small spring bed I did last summer. They had some growth on them so I stuck ‘em in a pot- We’ll see how they do here. I’d sure love some early color. If I remember right there should be a few tulips and hyacinth.


Behind the bulbs is a little pot of Swiss Chard Patrick wanted me to start. It seems to be doing fine.

More planning has been going on. I’m guessing as to when to start things this year and making sturdier low tunnels will have to happen soon…I’m considering moveable cold frames instead of tunnels- we’ll see, I’m still in the pondering stage ;)

Until next time,

Happy almost spring!



Feb 19, 2011

The White Stuff…I like it!


Most people don’t like snow…I love it! Not too much, mind you, but some snow is a nice thing. I needed more time to plan…looks like I got it! This was taken Feb. 15th- we woke up to about a foot.

Today we’re getting more snow…and more time to plan…


Happy almost spring (?) everyone,