Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Morning in the Greenhouse

I transplanted tomatoes today while sitting in a lawn chair wearing a t-shirt inside the greenhouse at New Roots Farm. The sun moved in and out of the clouds and the wind rattled the plastic roof of the greenhouse. It felt good to be handling tiny seedlings of Green Zebra, Orange Blossom, Peach, Juliet, and Sweet Olive tomatoes and to be out of the wind. Trays of basil, peppers, and other tender seedlings lined the tables around me, waiting for warmer days.

When I stepped outside, the cold wind whisked away the warmth immediately and I pulled on an overshirt. Winter seemed long and cold. Spring so far is cool. I can think of only one or two days above 70 degrees this year. We relish the days when the temperature reaches the mid-50s and the sun is out. The arugula that I direct seeded in my home garden sprouted within a week, but since has remained fixed in height, just waiting for a tad more warmth.

Still, you can find signs of spring moving along at a normal pace. Clusters of fragrant flowers hang from the branches of the common red maple tree. From a distance a stand of red maples provides a red hue to the woodland edge.

The lilacs are blooming, or at least the flower buds are opening and you can see a hint of purple.

Down by the river's edge the false hellebore is unfurling. Its bright green, heavily ribbed leaves are pretty as any flower.

False hellebore (Veratrum viride)

Along a wet, wooded trail, the cinnamon-colored bud of a witherod clasps the still emerging flower like a pair of praying hands.

Witherod (Viburnum cassinoides)


  1. Well I didn't expect to run into a Guilt Trip as I started to catch up on your blog. But there it was in the very first line: something about transplanting tomato seedlings! That's what I've told myself I should be doing for the last few days, though mine are in the basement with grow lights, nowhere near as appealing an environment as a greenhouse!

    I did transplant our first lettuce seedlings into ground a week or two ago. And spinach from seed has been up in garden for a few weeks. Our tomatoes include Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Beams Yellow Pear, and Hillbilly Potato Leaf. Along with a smaller determinate, Stupice, which is generally the first to produce fruit. OK. Now I better get down and do some transplanting.

    Hope some warmer weather arrives soon.

  2. Ken, glad I was able to help nudge the tomato transplant! I'm already thinking about the juicy tomatoes to come, but don't want to rush the season.


Winterberry Bird Scat

A week ago--on a coldish January day--a small flock of robins ate all the berries from one winterberry shrub in our yard. They flew off as q...