We were supposed to get more snow and lots of rain this weekend but Saturday stayed dry, if very cold and windy, and there were only a few snowflakes this morning. But the wind is gusting hard and the sky is clouded over and the weather radar says that soon it will indeed, finally rain. But just rain.

Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

Since there is still snow in the yard we couldn’t actually do anything outside. But Bookman and I were desperate so, mini greenhouse to the rescue! We brought out the seed starting pots and trays, set up on the kitchen floor and got to work.

We planted corn, lettuce, spinach, borage, lemon grass, fennel, two kinds of sunflowers, three kinds of coneflowers and prairie dropseed. We’ve got morning glory seeds soaking in a small dish of water to soften up the seed shell and will pop those into pots tomorrow.

grow seeds!

grow seeds!

Then we moved the greenhouse out to the deck, secured it to the deck railing so it will not blow over, and set the seeds in it.

We put a piece of cardboard underneath it to block cold air coming up below from between the deck boards, and zippered it closed. Now we just have to remember to water the seeds every day and make sure it doesn’t get too hot inside the plastic and cook the seeds. Ha! At the moment, too hot is not a worry.

The long-term forecast says next weekend it will be dry on Saturday and 64F (17.8C). I don’t dare believe it because I don’t want to be disappointed.

I had a nice browse through a gardening book called Easy Garden Projects to Make, Build and Grow. It has more ideas for various kinds of trellises than I ever could have imagined needing. It also has lots of projects for making various sorts of season extending enclosures — cold frames, greenhouses, those sorts of things. And projects for attracting birds and butterflies and toads as well as keeping other critters like rabbits and deer away.

I also found a really good book, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. The other books I have looked at so far on permaculture have not been useful because they assume you have acreage and/or they are back-to-the-land weirdo self-sustaining what if the world ends books. This one outlines the basics of permaculture and then focuses on how to do it on your city-sized lot (mine is 40×128 ft and has a house in the middle of it). I’ve not managed to read the whole book yet, but it is full of really useful information on how to cram as much as possible in a restricted space and do it in a sustainable way that doesn’t require inputs of store-bought fertilizers or pesticides. Good stuff!

I decided last night that even though Bookman and I have tried growing grapes before without luck we should try again, but in a different location of the yard. This time it would be closer to the house against the west side of our deck next to which is one of our strawberry patches. We could build a trellis up the side of the deck and in the summer the grape would provide some shade because does it ever get hot out there. Bookman said it was a great idea but my plans for this year are already more than we can probably manage so I agreed to postpone the grapevine to next year.

This morning at breakfast I launched into another plan I thought of while falling asleep the night before, prefacing it with “not this year of course.” We have a one-and-a-half-car detached garage at the back of the yard connected to an alley. We never park in the garage even in winter because of snow and ice in the alley and all the shoveling we’d have to do to keep it clear to get in and out. And in summer, who needs a garage in summer? We park on the street in front of our house like most other people around here do. So the garage is a large glorified shed that isn’t in the best of conditions anyway.

What if, I eagerly tell Bookman, we tear down the garage and build a real greenhouse and a shed? There would also be room to plant more stuff, maybe we could plant a cherry tree!

He doesn’t really know what to say so he just laughs at me.

This afternoon I was putting together plans for digging a “pocket” pond. I didn’t tell Bookman yet though, he’ll find out when he reads this post.

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