Mar 21, 2010

Spring Equinox in Northern Wisconsin

Before we moved from Kansas City to northern Wisconsin I was seriously into gardening. That interest has faded a bit over the years.  It may be, in part, because I had a hard time adjusting to 6+ months of winter. In all fairness it is a bit of a climate change. (Last year we didn't even have a summer season, just extra helpings of winter and spring.) It might be that, after all those years of weeding and watering I just got tired of playing in the soil. Truth is I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for gardening about the same time I became wool-obsessed.

This weekend marks the beginning of spring and, even though that means very little up north I found myself down in the basement digging out the old gardening flats, pots and soil mixes. I know! What is going on? And, I was right in the middle of charting and knitting a fantastic fair Isle tissue box cozy too. The sun shone through the window and onto my graph design and before I could say, "Wait until I finish this row" I was elbow-deep in potting soil.

I seeded two flats of tomatoes, basil, lobelia, and African daisies. It's not going to be much of a garden compared to the crazy days of yesteryear but it is a small step away from the spinning wheel. (It appears I actually plan to spend some time outside this season. Yay!) 

So, once the flats were seeded I bagged 'em. I want a successful germination so I have to keep these little cherubs nice and warm. The only consistently warm place in our house:

I placed the bagged seeds on top of the furnace next to the boiler in our basement. I'm guessing in a week to 10 days there will be some sort of sprouting action to report. Then I'll move the tiny plants under lights! When the growing season is as short as ours is up here you have to take advantage of an early, indoor start. (Please note: no matter how many lights you have or how early a start you make, never try to grow cotton in northern Wisconsin. It's a fool's game.)

But that isn't all! Look at these bread boxes I found at a thrift store (below):

Are these not perfect little green houses for propegating?
The bread boxes keep conditions warm and humid for these little impatiens cuttings. They should sprout well here and be full-fledged plants by June when it's finally safe to actually plant living things in Wisconsin, outdoor window boxes.
When I lift the lid it is decidedly warmer and far more humid inside the bread boxes.

Well, that's it on the gardening front. Time to get back to the serious business of treadling wool. I need to spin up a bit more yarn pronto. (After all, this latest tissue box cozy isn't going to knit itself you know.)


Smart Ass Sara said...

Wow. And I was happy my one marigold survived longer than a week.

Sara = epic fail as a gardener.

KarenJ said...

There are times, like now, with hibiscus, verbena and virburnam, bouganvilla and kalanchoes all blooming and the smell of groves of flowering oranges truly heavy in the air that I'm glad I don't live in northern Wisconsin or northern anywhere! I do sneeze quite a bit though! Happy spring!

Roseanna said...

I am so jealous of your gardening ability. Tomorrow my husband will drag me out for yet another humiliating attempt and planting. It is not that I do not enjoy it, just that my thumbs are black. I am always so hopeful in the spring, and I get totally sucked in at the garden center. Hundreds of dollars, sucked in. Your plants are beautiful...