Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seed Starting Pt 2: Veggies!

About a week after I started the window box plants, a couple days ago I went ahead and started with the edibles.

So far, I've started the following, all from the lovely folks at High Mowing Seeds:

1. Scallions "Evergreen Bunching"
2. Lacinato Dinosaur Kale
3. Champion Collards
4. Fordhook Giant Chard
5. Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
6. Common Sage

Even though I have never had any luck with broccoli or brussel sprouts, I am still tempted to give them another go... perhaps I'll seed a few of those over the next couple days. And maybe some okra -- though I'm sure I can never grow enough of it in my sun-deficient yard for it to be worth it, my innate southernness begs me to try. Has anyone else in the area (Boston, Zone 6a) had any luck with Collards, Okra or any other stereotypically southern veggies?

In any case, just a couple more weeks and I'll get some tomatoes, peppers and basil going as well. I learned my lesson last year and will definitely not be bothering to start any squash inside, and I figure I will plant lettuces, carrots, beets, radishes and possibly some others really early in the cold frame. And peas and beans will just be directly seeded at the proper time. So I think that'll be it! Any veggies I'm totally neglecting here? I only have a tenth of an acre, but I like to squeeze in as much as possible.

Seed Starting Pt 1: Annual Ornamentals

Even though we are still feeling frigid up here in the Northeast, last week I began my first seeds for spring. YAY!

First off, let's talk ornamentals. For the past couple of years I have been pretty diligent with my window boxes and the general curb appeal of my front yard. The beds are all perennials and are more or less established at this point, but I always end up pouring way more money than I want to into annuals for the window boxes. So, this year, I'm trying my hand at starting all my window box plants from seed. Since I usually make all my window box planting decisions last minute at the nursery (no matter how I try to plan, I always change my mind), I am going for breadth of selection in what I am trying to grow. I'm hoping at least a few plants will make it outside, and if I end up filling in with a few store bought specimens, well, it's better than nothing.

I basically just picked a random smattering from Park Seed, based on a random website that mentioned good window box varieties. So here's what I have going for that project:

1. Lobelia Fountain White
2. Lobelia 'Fountain Blue'
3. Verbena Imagination
4. Pansy Park's Whopper White
5. Pansy Flirty Skirts Burgundy
6. Pansy 'Flirty Skirts Blue'
7. California Poppy 'Wrinkled Rose'
8. Bacopa Blutopia
9. Impatiens 'Athena Mix'
10. Petunia Celebrity Mix
11. Nasturtium (leftover from 2009, I forget the variety but they are bright red)
12. Marigolds (also leftover from last year)

Of these, everything is now sprouting except for the Verbena and one of the Pansies. I have hope the Pansies will come along like their brethren, but apparently Verbena is difficult and likes to germinate in total darkness. Well, now that most everything is sprouting, I've gone ahead and stuck the tray under a light. The verbena will just have to deal. No fussy plants allowed!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

30 Day Shred

I work a computer job, so I am basically a slug; it feels like about half my life is spent online, and the rest is spent sleeping. Or eating. Pretty much the only excersize I get is when spring rolls around and I get to tear into my garden. In order to combat my winter inertness, last fall I got a gym membership. Now, I'm not sure how many times I've used that membership, but I'm pretty positive it would amount to less than once a month since its inception.

So, it is with much trepidation, that my husband (slightly less slug-like, but definitely not setting foot in a gym) and I have begun the "30 Day Shred." Basically, we have vowed to work out every single morning (with a MAXIMUM of one day off a week) using the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred dvd.

The dvd has 3 different 20 minute workouts, at increasing levels of difficulty. 20 minutes is pretty minor, so I figure this gives us zero excuse for being "too busy". We began last Tuesday, Feb 16, with level 1 and managed to do it every morning up 'til Sunday. (We took a mini-vaca to Sweet Local Farm, so a day of rest was in order!) Monday we resumed on schedule and this morning we decided to take the leap to level 2. HOT DAMN! I read on some review that Jillian Michaels is "a beast", and I think that constantly when I am doing the workout... but never moreso than this morning.

Anyway, so here we are on our 7th day of shred-age and I have to say that I think it's working. This morning I was actually the one that said "level 1 seems too doable now, let's do level 2!" Too bad I didn't take any "before" pics or measurements so I could properly document our journey into fitness, but I'll try to keep up with some blog updates.

So, anyone else try this 30 Day Shred? Or do you have any other workout recommendations for once the 30 days is up?