Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekly Garden Musings: May 22, 2013

I wasn't sure what the week would bring. I had a rather large design project with a new client scheduled to begin on Monday. To prepare, I finished up other smaller projects over the weekend, organized my computer files, and backed up my hard drive to a second drive. Monday arrived and the project was delayed. Some unexpected tasks came in and filled the void and by mid-week, pieces of the larger project began trickling in. As I worked the fragrance of lilac drifted into my office from the open window. I took a break to take a walk around the yard and saw that the lilacs beneath my window were just beginning to bloom and the fruit trees were in full flower.


I took a deep breath and inhaled the fragrance of spring. Everything seemed so alive with the bees buzzing among the blooms, the birds singing and darting from tree to tree, and the light breezes that flowed gently through the newly emerged leaves. For once I looked around and saw the beauty of the yard instead of all the work that still needed to be completed.

The seedlings have been enjoying some outdoor time this week. The weather has worked right to my advantage. It has been a mixed bag of a little sun, a bit of wind, and periods of overcast and rainy weather. Temperatures have been up and down too. This will allow the transplants to acclimate to the real world fluctuations.


I've been watching the weather carefully and nights are still pretty chilly, so the seedlings were shuffled back inside in the evening.

The coops progress is ongoing. Between rainy weather, K and I began measuring and cutting the window frames and trim. We gave everything a coat of paint then began nailing and screwing the pieces into place.


The chicks will be here on Friday, May 24th. A brooder was set up using a large tote. An opening in the cover was cut out and replaced with hardware cloth. A heat lamp is attached securely on a light stand that can be raised up to adjust the temperature.


This should work for a little while until the chicks need more room to spread their wings. I plan on building a larger brooder in the next few weeks.

Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional time for gardeners in my area to "Get the Garden In." However according to accuweather.com, I may need to wait a week because temperatures are predicted to only be in the high 30s overnight.

accuweather.com

Tomato roots will not grow or provide nutrients to the plant at soil temperatures of 50°F or below. Peppers will sulk and may even lose their leaves. Over the years, I have learned to be patient when transplanting peppers, eggplant, and tomato seedlings to the garden. The cold nights can stunt their growth if transplanted too soon. Mulching with black plastic solar mulch can help warm the soil and retain heat. Still, I will need to measure the soil temperature and wait until it is safe to transplant.

8 comments:

  1. I just love lilacs. They truly are one of my favorite flowering shrubs. Unfortunately, they don't really like the more acidic soil conditions where we live, so since moving here I have not had one to enjoy and they are not around in local landscaping much for the same reason. I do indeed miss them in late May. The coop project is really coming along and your first brooder box will work beautifully. That is the exact thing we did at first too. At the pace you are going you will be able to set up a heat lamp in the coop and move them in there as a next step after the initial smaller brood box is too small.

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    1. Laura, Thanks for the feedback on the brooder box. I was holding off on building a larger brooder hoping that maybe the next step would be into the coop. It all depends on how quickly they grow out of this one and the outside temps at night. I'll have to wait an see.

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  2. I know what you mean by waiting. I often put my beans in too early because I want them NOW. This year I've waited. So Monday the weather men said we would be in the 70s and 80s for at least a week. I started planting. They predicted yesterday to be 82 then in the morning they changed it to 70. Now they have changed their estimate for Saturday to 59. Ah well. I guess I'll see how they do. Beans won't germinate with a soil temp under 60F. At least the forecast brings rain. I hope that part is right.

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    1. Hopefully, the weather will warm up soon and your beans will sprout. The weather predictions seem ever changing. Since I posted this, Sunday and Monday daytime temps are lower and nights close to the same, but temperatures will rise to 80s at the end of next week. I think waiting a week will be a good idea. Better safe than sorry.

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  3. That's a smart looking chicken house.

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    1. Thanks! It is still in progress. I really want to finish it but the rain has made it difficult. Chicks arrive tomorrow :)

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  4. Your transplants are looking good. You are smart to postpone any transplanting until this wild weather settles down. Hopefully it does soon, for your garden as well as the chicks.

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    1. Isn't this weather crazy?!? We have a frost warning tonight. Luckily, I don't have anything in the garden that needs to be covered. It looks like next week will be in the 80s, so hopefully it will be safe to transplant the heat loving plants.

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