Sunday, February 13, 2011

Its Spring Indoors

Spring is in full-swing in the solarium and is just beginning in our greenhouse. We cleaned out the greenhouse today and started a few trays of seeds for transplanting into the greenhouse and outdoors. I discovered that the rhubarb in the greenhouse is starting to wake up. I'm looking forward to the first home-grown rhubarb pie of the season!

The greenhouse looks barren, but bulbs that I stuck in the soil last fall are starting to come up as well as some creeping onions that we use as scallions.

I potted some hyacinth bulbs and brought them into the solarium so that we can enjoy their blossoms and fragrance once they mature. It was 88 degrees in our "unheated" solarium today. Our house is mostly heated by passive solar, so it's been nice and toasty warm in the main part of the house.

A few trays of lettuce, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard, and spinach are just about ready to be transplanted into the greenhouse. Last week it was -12 outside and about 0 in the greenhouse, today it is 50 degrees outside and 75 in the greenhouse. With those kinds of recent and dramatic weather changes, we're trying not to jump the gun on assuming the greenhouse is safe for even fairly cold tolerant plants.

In another week tomato and pepper seedlings should be ready to pot up and bring into the solarium. Hopefully we'll get ripe indoor tomatoes and peppers by April this year. Within the last couple weeks we took out our scraggly cherry tomatoes and extremely productive jalapenos. What to do with a pound of jalapenos? I think we'll dry them and use them in chili.

The chrysanthemum and coreopsis cuttings from this past fall have filled out nicely. The first chrysanthemum blossom opened today. These are going to get divided one more time and then used in the up-and-coming perennial flower bed in front of our house. I don't have much experience with this kind of propagation so I'm happy to have my experiment go successfully!

It's still winter outside despite the warmer temperatures today. We were planning to head back up to the local ski hill for more snowboarding (we're there every weekend) but a knee injury kept us home and (happily) engaged in gardening.