The weather has been slowly moderating. There are more and more warm days. It is supposed to be 81°F and stormy all today! We’ve been out in the yard cleaning up—raking, cleaning out some garden beds, sweeping, and chipping.
My husband built me another cold frame for my birthday, and I planted it with spinach and carrots (two varieties). The box of the frame is made from wood scraps from a dismantled play structure our 25- and 27-year-old boys don’t play on anymore and a storm window and screen I picked up for free at a garage sale last April. (See my April 30, 2010 blog, “ My Latest Find: Cold Frame No. 2.”)
I planted 20-cent seed I bought at Wal-Mart. (This is probably your best value, although I think there are less seeds per packet.) I find myself buying seed at local stores when I am running other errands rather than paying the shipping from seed catalogs. I am fortunate to live near Madison where I can buy Seed Saver and other heritage varieties, as well as Jung and even Totally Tomatoes seed without having to order from a catalog and pay shipping. The farm stores and lumber yards carry Burpee and Northrup King seed at discounted prices. I can find Livingstone and American seeds at the local five and dime and grocery stores and at Walgreens.
We also hooked up the tandem rain barrels on the south side of the house near the cold frames. The frames really dry out quickly as the temperatures rise. You don’t want to keep them so wet that the seeds rot, but things can heat up pretty quickly. Since I don’t have the automatic opening arms on my boxes (way too expensive!), it is a good thing that I am home most of the time! Temperatures inside the boxes can easily get up to 90 to 100°F in a short time if the frames are not propped open. Begonia