Spring has straight up sprung.

Now that spring is FINALLY here at Silverwood, we have been getting right down to the business of the garden. Ordering and planting fruit trees, herbs, mulching & spreading compost. Oh, and turning the sunroom into our home office/living room/dining room for the next six months.

We're in such a good mood, we're celebrating with a coupon code that you'll only see if you scroll through ALL. OF. THE. PRETTY. PICTURES. buahahahahahahh!!!

Planting fruit trees

Planting fruit trees

Potting up some Thai and Mexican coriander

Potting up some Thai and Mexican coriander

First BBQ of the year!

First BBQ of the year!

One of the beautiful creepy crawly residents of the Silverwood acre.

One of the beautiful creepy crawly residents of the Silverwood acre.

On the way to the mailbox - this meadow will soon be full of milkweed.

On the way to the mailbox - this meadow will soon be full of milkweed.

One of our neighbour's chickens - some are prettier than others.

One of our neighbour's chickens - some are prettier than others.

We use some of our wood shop shavings to mulch the garden beds.

We use some of our wood shop shavings to mulch the garden beds.

The Bartlett pear in bloom! Don't get close - the flowers actually stink like poop.

The Bartlett pear in bloom! Don't get close - the flowers actually stink like poop.

Where we come to shove our faces with above mentioned BBQ.

Where we come to shove our faces with above mentioned BBQ.

Aw yeah. 

Aw yeah. 

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Ok, now for your coupon code! Use the code SPRINGSPRUNG to get 15% off anything in the shop right here at blisscraftandbrazen.com! Valid until midnight EST on Friday May 30th.

Starting Seeds & Paper Pots

The Spring Equinox took place two days ago on March 20 and ushered in many reasons for celebration.  If you're an avid gardener like myself you know that its high time to celebrate sprouting vegetables.   The time has come if you are planning to grow Tomatoes, Peppers, Broccoli, or Celery (amongst others) from seed. The next batch includes such favourites as Lettuce, Squash and Melons. Here in my Northern climate (zone 4) it's important to sprout certain plants in order to ensure they have a sufficiently long growing season and to circumvent the final frost of the year (May 13). This year I debated about how I was going to equip myself. Even though I've been gardening in varying degrees for many years I don't have a full kit of trays and pots. Since I'm keeping to a budget and I don't want to purchase plastic trays I could eventually salvage I decided to try paper pots. In two separate gardening catalogues and subsequent websites I saw paper pot makers for sale. Since I own a lathe and love wood-turning I decided to make my own.  I used scrap wood and firewood to make two models (55mm & 35mm) based on the sizes I saw in the catalogues.

Making the pots proved quite easy. It a perfect activity to do while watching a movie on the couch. Wrapping the paper strips twice around the wooden form seems to ensure they will hold their shape. When the two wooden pieces are pressed into one another the paper is folded to conform to the mating profiles of the wood. It's this fold that creates the structural integrity.

I've used a potting mix of coir (a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut) and perlite (naturally occurring volcanic glass). Coir is a wonderful alternative to Peat Moss. Since neither of these materials contain any nutrients I'm going to have to enhance my water once the sprouts gain their true leaves. I will either make a compost tea or invest in some sea kelp.

As it is, 5 days after seeding, the pots have held up well.  Since I have them trapped in a mini "Greenhouse" they are entirely wet all the time. I really do hope they continue hold up well - I've entrusted my entire crop to this method. Fingers Crossed!