Thursday, February 25, 2021

Sifting Soil and Seed Starting!

We're having another beautiful day and I've spent the biggest part of it outside doing gardening things.  I might add that I am exhausted ... it's going to take a few days to regain a gardening fitness level needed for gardening season!  In the meantime I'm nursing sore muscles and body fatigue!

I started out the morning emptying out two of our big 25 gallon containers.  In one I had planted comfrey and in the other was garlic chives.  I wanted to spread/plant both of these plants out in several different locations on our property and I needed to make sure there were no roots, sprouts, etc left in the pots as both of these spread well.  The only way I could be sure that I had gotten it all was to dump out the containers.  So, that's what I did, one at a time of course, and set to work dividing the contents of each container into clumps that would be planted elsewhere.  Once the actual plants were out it was time to sift the soil for the small roots, etc.  I didn't want to leave them in the pot and have them take root and grow back.

I needed a soil sifter, hubby and I had made plans for him to make one a year and a half ago but when my mom started getting sick everything was put on hold.  Since I didn't have a soil sifter, I rigged up a make shift one.  Isn't that what we do when we need something we don't have, don't we look for ways to make it work.  That's what I did, here's what I came up with ...

I laid a piece of hardware cloth we had over the top of the container.  Then, I piled the soil on it and with a gloved hand manipulated the soil back and forth causing it to fall through the wire leaving the roots, etc on top of the hardware cloth.  This process was slow as I had to keep rearranging the hardware cloth to stay in position ... but I did it.

My hubby came out to see what I was up to and it was agreed by both that it was time to make the soil sifter ... and that's what he did.

He measured and cut and made it the right size to fit snuggly over my wheelbarrow.  He made it in such a way that I won't have to chase it around the wheelbarrow either, it stays put!  Now, when I have to sift soil or compost all I have to do is place this soil sifter over my wheelbarrow and start piling on the soil or compost.  I am so happy to have this!

While hubby was working on the soil sifter, I headed to the greenhouse to get some seed planting done, here's what I did ...

I got our tomato seeds planted ... Roma, Celebrity, Baby Roma and an unknown heirloom variety that I named after the person who gave us the seeds, Grundy.

I also planted Basil, Marigold, Sage, Hot Banana Pepper, Jalapeño Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Sweet Banana Pepper and Poblano Pepper.

I planted quite a few marigolds and several basil seeds as I will be planting each of these with our tomatoes (for help in controlling insects).  The hot banana, sweet banana and jalapeno are ingredient's for a pepper relish that I make every year.  The cayenne is used for seasoning purposes, herbal remedies and in making cider fire.  The sage will be used for seasoning purposes and in herbal remedies. We love to stuff the poblano peppers and have them as a main course.  

When considering what to plant, I also like to consider how it will be used.  How it will be used determines how much of it I need to plant.

Tomorrow, its supposed to get cooler again and rain is back in the forecast, however, nice temperatures are supposed to return next week.  I hope so because the more I get done, the more I see that needs to get done!


A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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