Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nice Days for a Nice Beginning; The First Frog

Yesterday (Saturday, March 14th) and today were very nice days - in or close to the 50s in temperature and sunny. Yesterday I planted lettuce, zen (a very nice green), broccoli raab, and swiss chard outside in a wooden enclosure with a glass top. This had been sitting in one of the garden beds all winter in the hope that some lettuce seed that I planted in late October would begin to grow. Several previous years I started lettuce in September and had seedlings to transplant into this bed and they would grow for a while, sit there all winter, and then start growing again in the spring so that we had edible lettuce in April. But last year I was too late (back injury). The soil in that enclosure was warm and certainly ready to work yesterday and so I expect that the seeds that I just planted will germinate and grow.

Today I turned under the winter rye that I had planted in one bed last September and then I moved inside to start broccoli, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, parsley and chamomile. Back on the 5th I started leeks and scallions and they have already germinated and are under the lights in the cellar.

I am trying to do much better this year in keeping records of what I start (including the variety), when, and when the seeds germinate and when I plant them out. Hopefully at the other end I will record when harvesting begins and ends. That is where I have been really weak and so I never know when to expect the first tomato or other vegetable.

Other than one frog that slid across the ice on the pond three days ago when we pulled out the pipe that we used to allow gases to escape, we saw the first intentionally appearing frog today. So one, at least, of the 12 to 15 frogs that we had last year made it through the winter. We have also seen one that didn't. Since our frogs were not mature enough to produce tadpoles we needed the adults to make it through the winter. No adults survived the 2007-2008 winter so as far as our yard was concerned they were on the brink of extinction. So now we need only one of a sex different from the one that appeared today.