Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

News Years Blessings

The new year has come, the seeds catalogs have begun to arrive daily in the mail box, but I feel like winter has just arrived.  Though the temperatures are frigid these days making walks shorter and fires burn higher, I find comfort somehow that the chill of winter has finally arrived.  December is always finicky, with warm days and snowstorms and then warm days again, but this year seemed especially odd.  But I will say that it did have it’s rewards.

To begin with…We had tomatoes in the greenhouse, lush and ripening, until last night when the record low temps snuck in the wee hours and nipped the tomatoes once and for all. I am just amazed that they have been producing since June and deeply greatful.  In a way it was a relief, though sad to see them die. I finally cleared them out and got to start the new year with a layer of compost, freshly dug in and raked even and clean, a perfection my garden seldom embodies except on those few days of spring when seed beds are created and planted.

Even though the temperatures are low at night, it is still warm in the greenhouse during the day.  In fact our greenhouse is attached to our bed room so on cold winter days, we actually open the doors up to the bedroom to help heat the house, we just need to remember to close the doors before the sun starts to sink and the warm air turns and rushes out for the evening.  Though we get this warm air—the soil temperatures are what are really important to seed germination.  Most vegetables need the soil to be at least 45 degrees to germinate, and many can germinate when the soil is up to 80.  Just to see, I put a soil thermometer in the bed for a couple of days.

I got a steady reading of 40 degrees, but decided to plant a thick sowing of lettuce and spinach anyway.  My hope is that when the soil does warm up they will germinate and provide us with an early salad crop before March, when I will install my tables that I will cover with the rest of the seedling flats.

I have faith my plan will work.  Not just because I am a desperately hopeful gardener, but because I have been pleasantly surprised by my little lettuce plants.  The delightful surprise came in the form of Christmas salad.  A crop I planted in late October, too late I thought, but did it anyway.

It is covered by an old window cold frame that Christmas morning was covered with frost and ice.  I was sure it would be frozen, but to my surprise, the lettuce was lush and spring green.

We ate a huge salad for Christmas and then again for New Years, and to my delight, it seems to still be holding despite these frigid nights.

Ode to garden miracles, in the midst of winter freezes.

Happy New Year to all and blessings on your dreams of green for the coming year–

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