Besides getting the seedlings started, there will be so much to do once I get home.
1. The first thing that has to be done is a trip to the nursery for a yard of good "leaf & twig" compost, since I have several beds to fill up and the rest to be topped off.
2. Four of my 4' x 4' raised boxes need to be joined together with 2x12s to make one 22' long bed, and the resulting 2' x 4' areas filled with compost.
3. I'll have to dig out some sod along the south fence line and prepare a makeshift planting bed for the sugar snap peas. These weren't in my original plan for this year's garden, so rather than a wood enclosed box, I'll simply provide a 12' x 1' raised bed of compost rich soil. I'll do the same along the east side of the "dog kennel garden" for the tall peas and some early lettuce. The peas will have to be planted right away.
4. New compost will be added to all the beds and incorporated into the existing soil.
5. Four or five raspberry canes, 2 new blueberry bushes and 50 strawberry plants must be purchased and planted.
6. I have to either find room to plant at least a dozen of the pepper plants that I didn't plan on originally, or find enough containers to grow them in. I kind of got carried away with the Tumbling Toms, too. I had only planned on one of those, in a hanging bucket, and now I have four that I won't be able to part with. Of course, they may all be too large to fit in the picnic cooler for the trip home next week....in which case they will be given to friends here in AZ and new ones will be started when I get home.
7. I have some "garden art" that I want to install....some decorative trellises and my home made hand painted birdhouses.
8. I have to remove three or four large lilac bushes and a volunteer mulberry tree to make room for a large compost bin. Getting rid of the shade might allow me to add a melon patch next year, after we build a new shed next to that area.
9. I'm taking six 6' T-posts home to pound into the tomato bed so I can try the Florida Weave method of trellising this year. I'll put three on each side of the 4' x 8' bed, and wire some 8' 2x2s to them to extend their height for the indeterminate tomatoes.
10. A new sprinkling system has to be planned, as I don't want to use the existing impulse sprinklers in the garden. I have a bunch of drip tubing left over from the drip system in my AZ gardens, so I'll spend some time playing around with that and planning out a permanent installation.
I think I might need another month of spring, just to get the garden ready this year!
The plants now live in an old picnic cooler, with foil taped inside the lid to reflect the light.
With the lid closed enough to still allow the light cord to be plugged in, it makes a toasty growing chamber that maintains a constant 85F temperature. This is how they will be transported north next week, carried through the hotel and placed in the hotel bathroom, with the light plugged in overnight.
My daughter called yesterday to say she'd picked up my mail (in WA), and I had a box from John in PA (John's Journal). That would be the soil block maker that he made for me...I'm very anxious to try it! I also had my order from Ohio Heirloom Seeds (that was fast!) and a free packet of seeds from Patti Moreno the Garden Girl. I think Amy said it was Bok Choy, which I have never planted before.