Well, the van did start this morning, so I went ahead and did our city shop without even coming inside from doing my morning rounds, other than to grab my purse. No morning kitty pictures, because I was wearing mitts. It was viciously cold out there! I can usually get away with just wearing fingerless gloves, or using my pockets, but not this morning!
Before heading to the city, I made a side track to check the mail and found a package waiting for me.
I’d completely forgotten that we’d be getting something in from T&T Seeds!
Most of what we ordered will be shipped in the spring. We’ll be getting a lot of stuff shipped at about the same time! All the companies we ordered from ship their perishable stock based on what zones the addresses are in, timed to arrive ready to be planted almost immediately. Last frost dates can still vary quite a bit within zones, though, so there’s a possibility some might arrive and need to wait a bit before planting. We shall see.
The Forage Radish seeds are a lot bigger than I expected, but then does grow into a big… well… long, radish. As this is a cover crop, it will be planted strategically in areas we want the soil to be broken up for planting next year, or in between things that might need some “tilling” around them, this year. I don’t expect we’ll use even half of this seed, this year. Unless we decide to start sowing in the outer yard, to lure the deer away! 😀
While in the city, one of my stops was at Canadian Tire, where we pick up the wood pellets we use as kitty litter. I hadn’t been able to get through to our mechanic to reschedule our oil change, so I took a chance and asked if they could book me in at the Canadian Tire, right away. Sure enough, they could fit me in, so I had about an hour to spend in the store.
It is very dangerous for me to be in a place like Canadian Tire. Especially since the oil change was going to be under budget, which meant I had wiggle room!
Along with the wood pellets, I snagged a small folding saw horse. The saw horses we have now are home built and very old, so they’re awfully wibbly. The one I found was on clearance, so I was happy to be able to take advantage of that. I also found some vegetable grow bags on clearance. I was going to make grow bags for the sweet potatoes, using feed bags like we did with potatoes last year, but these bags were so cheap, I went ahead and bought two. It will at least give us something to compare.
I also picked up a couple more trays for seed pots, to allow watering from below, plus one that had square Jiffy Pot type cups in it, for those smaller things we want to start indoors, and will do better if they’re transplanted with their pots, to avoid root disruption. So the extra time I had to spend in the store was productive.
Once the van was ready (complete with a printout of little things they found that I’ll take to our local mechanic to check), I headed to Costco to do the main shopping.
It’s very weird to shop at Costco and buy no meat. I just picked up some fish for my daughters. I didn’t need anything else. I love having such a well stocked freezer!
While there, I picked up a couple more small, plain aluminum baking sheets. I got some last spring, and they came in very handy for moving seedlings in and out of the sun room to harden off.
They also come in very handy as kibble trays for the outside cats, so I was down a couple! 😀
When I got home, the girls made sure to put Butterscotch and Nosencrantz into the carriers while we hauled things through the sun room, into the old kitchen. They even set the carriers up, so the cats could see and watch us. 😀
Then, while the girls put away the groceries, I loaded the van back up with garage for the dump. It’s open this evening, but I was done with driving. It can stay frozen in the van until the dump is open next, two days from now. That’ll give us a chance to gather the recycling together, too.
I’m thinking that tomorrow, we should start getting the luffa, and at least some of the onion seeds, started. I’ve been researching and will try something different with the gourds this time, to help improve germination rates. Of all the gourds we have, the luffa needs the longest growing time.
From the zone 3 garden groups I’m on, we should be starting the eggplant and peppers now, too. Our last frost date is a lot later than the people posting that, though, so holding off at least a bit longer would probably be a good thing.
When it comes to planting our garden this year, we haven’t quite planned locations all out, yet. The existing beds will be easy enough to work with, but we will also be building new – mostly temporary – beds, too, as we slowly reclaim more and more of the old garden area, and work our way closer to the house.
It was a bit funny when I was telling my mother about what we’ll be doing this year. She was having a hard time picturing where we are intending to plant the sea buckthorn and silver buffalo berry, as much as a living fence as for their berries, where we will be planting the Korean Pine, as well as how we haven’t quite decided on where to plant the Highbush Cranberry. She knows we plan to plant more fruit and nut trees, and made this surprising comment about how, if we plant all these trees, we won’t have any garden left. Not just because of the trees taking up the space, but their shade, as well.
There’s two reasons her comment was a surprise. The first is that she had already said to me before that, if it were up to her, she would have filled that entire area with trees by now. She did have a habit of sticking trees in, anywhere, without much thought to whether it would be a good place for them! The other reason is that my parents planted so many trees on the south side of the garden, closest to the house, that there’s not a lot that can grow there anymore. Too much shade! I know they planted these for protection from the wind, but if they’d planted them on the north side of the garden, it would have been just as effective, and wouldn’t have taken away so much prime garden location. It’s one of the main reasons we’re going to build permanent garden beds in the outer yard, where they will get full sun.
My mother and I talked a bit about our wanting to plant a southern shelter belt, because we have a gap that needs to be filled. I told her about the renter wanting to replace the fences (he’s responsible for the fencing, as part of the rental agreement), and that I’d suggested making a new, straight fence line from the barn to the road, rather than going around the old hay yard. It’ll mean a lot less fence to put in, though they’ll loose a small amount of pasture. If they do that, we’ll be able to plant shelter belt trees near it, and not have to worry about having to protect saplings from cows. My mother suggested planting lilacs as a hedge, but I told her that we need to start with something taller, first. Not too tall, though, or we’ll just end up with more shade problems. Many of the farms in the area are completely open, with just a block of shelter belt trees around the house and outbuildings – and their gardens are outside the shelterbelt, far from their houses. There just isn’t anywhere near their houses that gets enough sunlight for the size of gardens they are growing. Whatever trees w decide to plant on the south, I don’t want anything that will get as tall as the spruces we have by the house. They’re about 65ft high, and we’ve been watching how far their shadows are cast, at different times of the year. Since we will be planting permanent garden beds out that way, the last thing we want to do is plant trees that will get so tall, they’ll end up shading the garden beds. I figure we can plant trees that grow no taller than 30 feet and still get the shelter from the wind that we need. Especially if we also plant shrubs along the line, too.
But maybe not more lilacs. I’m thinking more along the lines of hazelnuts and berry bushes! 😀
No decisions can be made until there’s a fence, though!
So for now, we focus on the vegetable gardens!