April 10, 2022

Trust the almanac? Maybe not every year.

My grandfather planted by the signs, which is to say he read the yearly Old Farmer's Almanac and followed its planting guidelines. I get a digital copy every year, and it does contain some good "country" knowledge about when to plant what. With the digital copy comes access to a variety of documents which includes a planting calendar for my zip code. 

I planted my seeds according to the calendar, but I'm starting to think it wasn't a good idea for 2022. The Roma tomatoes look really good, but everything is a bit "peekid." That is to say, it's not looking good. I purchased good seed from Burpees so the sprouts should look a lot better. 

One of the starts, the Bodacious** tomatoes, look really ragged, so much so that during my last trip to town I purchased a different variety, Rutgers, and just this morning planted those seeds. I think that next year, I'll give the seeds an extra week or two before planting them. They'll catch up growing quick enough once it's time to get them outside. 

The weather surely plays a big part in the health of sprouts and seedlings. We're having a protracted cold, wet, and windy spring. Sunshine has been at a premium. Next year, I'll pay attention to what sort of cycle we're in. 

I did add a new shelving unit to my seed sprouting repertoire this year. I don't mind the sprouting trays taking over the floor space in my sunroom office, but it pissed off Loki the Cat. He knows when I'm at my desk and will come to the sunroom door for me to let him in and out. The trays in his way making it so he had to make a leap over them did not make him happy. Pandering to the feline? You betcha! He gets mouthy when things don't please him. 

The unit is a good addition, though. It's of mid-grade quality and will disassemble easily to store until next year. Add in that it has wheels and I can turn it every day for the plants and it's win-win-win.  

Come 2023, I may purchase a larger greenhouse and perhaps move the seed sprouting operation to it. It's something I'm pondering this year. It would mean planting seeds later in the season and keeping a very close eye on the temperatures inside the greenhouse. We'll have to think about that for a while. I'm not in a rush to spend the money and then discover it doesn't work for me. 

This summer, my first being fully retired, will be a learning experience on so many fronts. I hope I'm up to the task. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

**4/25/22 update - all the Bodacious tomatoes were a loss**

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