MARCH 2019March has been a challenge here in Nebraska. We were pounded with two snow storms and now we have flooding. We have had over 60 inches of snow this season which started the first part of November. That's over 35 inches above normal. Then bitter cold weather kept the snow piling up through January and February. Then with an excess of a foot of snow on the ground the rains came for three days and melted it way too fast. The rivers have overflowed. A dam broke which dumped a huge amount of water into a larger dam on the Missouri river which had to open the locks to release water. Now down stream from that dam is flooding. The snow melt hasn't begun in the higher level mountainous areas yet which will add to the problem. The governor of the state has declared a state emergency disaster. We have entire cities that have been evacuated because of rising water. I'm 100 feet above the flood stage where I live so it's safe thank goodness. I can deal with a little water seepage into the basement compared to an all out flood. Needless to say my heart goes out to those that have to deal with the flood waters. Water can be a most destructive force when out of control.
TOMATOES, PEPPERS, LETTUCE, CABBAGE
The first of the seed starts have been transplanted into 8 ounce plastic cups. Here is 35 of the starts that are Super Beefsteak tomatoes. I've not grown these before but they seem to be doing well. With this volatility and unpredictability of the Spring weather this year, I'm doing extra plantings of the same vegetables at different times to be able to plant outside at the right time. I'm also planning to have extra plants for each planting in case the late Spring weather brings any high winds or hail. It's shaping up to be a very challenging year for gardening in Nebraska. In another week or two these plants will be transplanted into their final cups which are 32 ounce cottage cheese containers. Each time the plants are buried up to the first set of leaves so by the time the plants are set out in the garden they will have a sizable root system.
Here's another view of the Super Beefsteak tomatoes. Some of these will be going into my patio bucket garden this year. I have plans for a 21 bucket garden with 14 tomatoes and 7 bell peppers being grown in them. I'm hoping to get an automatic watering system built that will be gravity fed. I'm not sure if I'll get that done because there are many other projects that need attention as well.
This is a crop of lettuce, bell peppers, and one lonely cabbage plant. The lettuce will be harvested soon for salad as a micro greens dish. More planting will follow before actually being able to plant outside. This is about a four week growth.
The California Wonder Bell peppers are always difficult for me to get started. I planted some in the traditional way by putting the seeds in the soil but after three weeks I decided to try a new method. I put the seeds on a damp paper towel and sealed them into a Ziplock bag. The seeds sprouted in about 10 days. I carefully planted the sprouting seeds into these seed trays and in five days they were up and growing. This picture was about two weeks after that. They are doing the really well. The traditionally planted seed have yet to make an appearance after five weeks. I'm thinking they're not going to sprout. The seeds came from the same package. In a couple more weeks these pepper plants will be transplanted into the 8 ounce cups. They probably won't have to be transplanted again before putting out in the buckets.
I had an old package of cabbage seed that I decided to just dump the entire 200 seeds into a tray and see what happened. Yeah, one lonely cabbage plant came up and I think there might be another that can be transplanted. I guess I'll be getting some fresh seed to plant for cabbage this year.
My tired backyard some what raised beds were made from landscaping timbers about a decade ago and are deteriorating. At this point in my life I always consider how I can build things to never have to do it again because in ten years I may not be able to do it. So here's solution to that issue. This should out last me. I only have three more to go. These blocks are just loose fitted together in case some time in the future I decide to change things or eliminate things. This bed was layered full of yard waste and dirt. It will be interesting to see how things grow in it this year. This is about a four foot by 8 foot bed. Surprisingly the cost was under $50 to build it. Well, maybe a little more because I had some old blocks that I put to use. I'm not sure what will be planted in here just yet.
I'm just glad to see the weather warming up. The trees are starting to bud and the daffodils are coming up so Spring is finally here. Now if I could just see a Robin I would know that all is well with Spring weather.
I hope and pray that you are all well, dry, and ready to enjoy Spring.