Guessing game

The seedlings are making good progress, and with a couple of days out in the warmer air and sunshine, even the peppers are coming up. Of course, Mother Nature has decided to turn down the heat a little, but only to just freezing at night – that still means bringing in the flats during the night, but does not mean rigging covers for the plants currently out in the flats. Next week, we’re forecast to have another hard freeeze, into the 20s, which will probably finish off our freezes for the season if that holds true. That, in turn, brings us to the guessing game: when will it be safe to begin direct sowing certain things, like cukes and melons? I could start them in three inch peat pots, I suppose, but for these, I really like to start them direct in the frames in which they’ll live out their lives – plus, I won’t have to tote them anywhere, and watering out there is much easier than watering a bunch of flats and individual pots (right now, that is: next season, I expect to have the greenhouse up, which will make a lot of this much simpler). The beauty off all of this is that gardening itself, once everything is in place, is a cheap hobby with great rewards and in almost every case – like the sungolds last season – the return is huge. Those leggy flats I had? All reseeded, for less than five bucks in seed. The most expensive seed I have is for the corn, and that only because there’s five pounds of it.

I suppose this will, in the end, be much like anything else in life: you make a decision, and you take your chances. Assuming that everything (or almost everything) in the flats comes up in the next couple of days, the first couple of weeks in March is the target date for transplanting outside. With any luck, we’d then have the first tomatoes appearing in mid to late April. That would be something for planting that is done without the use of a greenhouse.

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