The Weekly Digs #5

by Becky Porter
Published: Updated:

I’ve reached the point where it feels like winter just keeps dragging on and the gray days seem eternal. Are you there with me? Thankfully, we are at the cusp of spring have seed starting indoors to fight off those winter blues!

This week, I seeded peppers. 36 plants so far. I will do at least another half tray of soil blocks to make 50+ peppers. Last year, I didn’t have enough Jalapeno plants to use when I canned 50 jars of salsa over the course of the summer. Consequently, I’m sowing more to make sure I have a good balance of jalapenos to tomatoes.

I do sow extra seeds as a buffer against any mishaps. It took me a while to learn that gardening and homesteading isn’t about perfection, it’s about experimenting and learning new things. Often that learning comes through making mistakes. And trust me, I’ve made many, many mistakes which means I’ve learned a lot. The result? I’ve become a better homesteader and I get to share that knowledge with you!

Varieties of Peppers for 2019: Emerald Giant, Tam Jalapeno, Poblano, Orange Bell, Canary Bell, and Midnight Bell.

Onion’s got moved up to larger pots. I’m also beginning to harden them off outdoors.

The mini blocks of lettuce and kale got moved up to larger two inch blocks. The two inch block soil mix has nitrogen in it. In the three days they have been moved up they have taken off in size! I am beginning the process of hardening off these lettuce and kale seedlings too.

I also seeded sweet alyssum, rosemary, parsley, and echinacea. Wish me luck on the rosemary, I’ve heard it’s a tough one to start from seed.

We had some sad news this week. One of our Buff Orpington chickens died and not from an animal. I found it whole and untouched, in its coop. I’m hoping it didn’t freeze to death and died of something else. (What a horrible way to go!) It got down to 5ºF the night prior.

I ended up covering the A frame coop with a canvas drop cloth the next few nights to keep out the chilly wind just in case. All is well right now and the other chickens seem healthy. However, since we are now down to seven hens it looks like we may need some new chicks this spring. The chickens egg laying has picked up a bit but not enough to keep up with us eating those eggs.

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