• The Vegetarian Homestead

What's new on the homestead this week

The weather has been a bit moody this past week. We go from beautiful sunny days to pouring rain with tornado warnings within hours. I know this is tornado season where we live and we always take the warnings seriously. A tornado went through about 4 miles from our house 4 years ago and we saw the damage it left behind. That same year we had a storm shelter installed in our garage. We have been in the storm shelter handful of times since and I am always so grateful that we have it.

In the garden I see so much more life now. We even saw honey bees on our peach tree last week! The horse radish is coming up beautifully and so are the purple cone flowers. The chives look so happy and green. All the transplants are doing amazing after all the rain we have had. Even the lettuces that got frost damage are growing more green leaves.

I have up potted my tomatoes and have been slowly hardening them off this week. They will spend several days on the deck in a shady area and than will be slowly transitioned to daylight over the next few weeks. I have learned the hard way the importance of hardening of indoor seedlings to outdoor climate. I have lost so many seedlings to wind and sun damage in the past.

One of our bantam hen is broody and sitting on a large clutch of eggs. She is the most amazing hen mamma and hatches out 2 or 3 clutch of chicks each year. I always give her special attention when she goes broody :).

Since I started writing this post few days ago, we have had few nights where the temps were below 30. I keep a close eye on the temps during this time of the year because I know that we are in a frost pocket and a light frost can damage fragile seedlings. I have most of my broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages planted in the garden already so I had to quickly cover them up. Along with being in a frost pocket, our location also gets pretty strong winds so I had to get creative and use weights on top of the pots that covered the seedlings. I don't have enough row covers to cover all my plants so I use old curtains and sheets when needed.

Planting early in the spring is always a gamble and sometimes the weather cooperates and everything does great. Any dead seedlings will be replaced with something else and the survivors will get a nice dose of water soluble fertilizer to perk them up. I hope most will make it!

There is much to be done in the garden, inside the house and wrapping up this school year. But I still love this time of year where there is so much hope and happiness for all new things to come and grow and harvest. I may not feel so cheery come august but I am always grateful for a new spring season.

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