Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Strawberries, getting a jump on spring!

I confess to being a garden fanatic.  I love to garden even more than I enjoy painting.  When January rolls around I am itching to get planting. But with a last frost date of mid-May, the garden season feels far off.
I normally start seeds of flowers you won't find in regular garden centers. I set up racks inside my house complete with grow lights and heat mats. 
 But this year the budget does not allow for the extra power usage so I must content myself with what I can start in my greenhouse.   

Many seeds will have to wait for late March to be started so I won't have the headstart I normally enjoy but that isn't something I can't live with.  You can see here we have a bit of snow left and the nights get very cold so I have to be judicious in what I try to start.

 Saturday I drove by a local nursery and spotted their sign letting me know that they had bare root strawberries in stock. 
 A strawberry patch is on my list for this summer so I pulled in to price them.  I was more than pleased to find they were under $4 for a dozen, so I picked up 2 bunches.
  It was a sunny morning but a storm was moving in with more snow predicted so as soon as I got home I hurried to get the greenhouse back in order. 
First, set up the metal rack.  I will eventually set up some grow lights and my tube lights for bottom heat on this rack. 
 Mix up potting mix, 4 parts compost, 1 part vermiculite and 1 part perlite.  Stir in old metal bucket.  Separate strawberry plants and place in 4 inch pots then added potting mix.
I place the freshly potted strawberries in trays and bottom water. See  happy healthy berry plants.  they will develop great root systems and be ready to put into my new strawberry patch as soon as the ground will permit.
They will do very well in the greenhouse until then.

 The site I have chosen for my strawberry bed is my old chicken pen spot, it has been a few years since my chicken pen was located there so it has composted well though still rich in nutrients for the berries.
So, now you need to meet my ladies.
 I have 17 hens.  A mix of breeds.  Silver laced wyandottes, Speckled sussex, NewHampshire reds, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Delawares and a Bard Rock. 
 They provide me with luscious fresh eggs and tons of organic fertilzer.
It was fun getting a start on my summer garden, small as it was.  And I still have plenty to do in the greenhouse to get it ready for more seed starting.  I was busy painting signs the past couple days so the planting will have to wait for another day.
Anyone else getting anxious for spring?? Or is that a really dumb question...
Cottage Flora Thursday\


  1. I am drooling over your greenhouse. I have been wanting one for so long. I just did a post about my vegie garden if you want to have a look.. as I love gardening too! I used to have chickens but they all decided to stop laying so I got rid of them a while back but I'm thinking of getting some more again. Nothin' like fresh eggs! I think your home is so cute, I love it! I'm a new follower.. take care, Maryann

  2. Loving your greenhouse & your chickens!!!!! xoxo

  3. Thanks so much for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday's - Hope to see you back next week again....Really appreciate you sharing the link picture on your post! The more of us gardeners that get together, the more inspired we will be! xoxo

  4. We're new to the chicken thing - my daughter hatched 17 for her science fair project last year and we kept 3 hens (but one ended up being a late bloomer-rooster, so now we have 2 hens). How do you have their living quarters set up? We weren't pleased with any of the ones we saw on-line to purchase. What works/doesn't work? Would you mind doing a post on it complete with pics? (I'm SUCH a visual learner! :) Thanks so much! I truly enjoy your posts.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...