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Friday, March 20, 2009

3/20/09 Spring Has Sprung!

7:44am EST…it’s official…Spring is HERE! Spring officially starts when the Sun strikes the Vernal Equinox, i.e., the time when the Sun strikes the Celestial Equator at 0º 0' 0"S declination for the Northern Hemisphere. Yes, I did the countdown…and it was more fun than New Year’s! We’re having record low’s today (of course); 26° right now and light snow flurries are coming down, but it’s all good. Even Mother Nature can’t keep Spring from arriving.

Yesterday we noticed our first crocuses blooming out front. They're in the flower beds at this house, but at my last house I planted them all through the front lawn (they die off before the first mowing). Yes, my neighbors thought I was nuts...I've wondered what the family that bought that house thought their first Spring there.

I'll encourage you all to start a veggie garden this year, especially with the recession going on. Even if you have no 'plot' you can plant a tomato in a pot.
Tomato Tips:
-The tomato is a vine...give it a stick, deck rail, or something else you can attach the main stems to as it grows, and fertilize every month.
-Buy a plant then bury 1/4-1/3 of the stem when you plant it (pinch the leaves off the buried part)...the stem will grow more roots and you'll have a really healthy plant.
-Tomatoes get 'sucker shoots'. As the plant grows look where the branches attach to the main stem. In that 'crook' you'll see a baby stem starting to grow...pinch it off and you'll get healthier branches and more tomatoes.
-Tomatoes like even, deep watering. ie. it's better to do one long heavy watering every other day and let it dry between than to water lightly 'willy-nilly' or flood it all the time (the roots will grow deeper looking for water=healthier plant, and you won't get tomato rot-black spots on the bottom).

Add some lettuce seeds (easy from seed, fast growing, pick leaves from the outside of the plant as you need them, replant a new batch as you use them up or they start to send up a flower shoot-leaves get bitter then) and onion starts (look for them in the veggie plant section- they look like a bundle of almost dead green onions-below) in the pot around the base and you've got salad all summer!


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