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Monday, February 9, 2009

Preparing for spring: seeds & Jiffy Pots & Cozy-Coats- & coupons on Facebook!

Today Dan & I officially started preparing for spring @the Elkhorn Inn; we went to Lowe's and bought seeds! I've been shooting pix of the Pocahotas train sailing past the Inn in the snow, and reading myself to sleep with dog-eared Burpee & Park Seed Catalogs (and my wonderful sis-in-law Martha's gift pack of photocopied NY Times X-word puzzles), but today, when the balmy 61-degree weather finally enabled us to go out & prune back the bushes, we discovered with joy that the spring bulbs have sprouted, but also, to our horror, that the side fence needs drastic & immediate repair work. So we hopped in the Jeep & trekked to Lowe's to buy fence slats (that Dan has to cut down & re-shape- hence another *&%#$!! Project...), & I got side-tracked into the Gardening Dept., and so bought our first batch of seeds for Spring 2009: corn & beans & melons & herbs & radishes & squash & sunflowers & velvety, red celosia, & a seed-starter tray of the cool, water-expanding peat-pellets I've used since I was a High School FFA Aggie!
After my 'retail therapy' @ Lowe's (and who, seriously, ever thought this Louboutin-kinda-gal would get her shopaholic jollies in Lowe's????!), we stopped for a really good hamburger, steak sandwich, & fries at the Redwood Inn, a newly reopened restaurant in Bluewell, WV, & then came home to the Inn so I could go on-line to & then to Gardener's Supply Company (for whom I did a cover watercolor illustration back in the '90's) & buy us red plastic tomato mulch & 'Cozy-Coats', which they call ''Red Tomato Teepees', which enable us to plant tomatoes & other veggies over a month before our May 15th 'planting date'. We've had 4'' of snow here in early May, so we take 'official planting date' stuff really seriously! A Cozy-Coat is a flexible, red, plastic-tube 'wall o' water' that you put around each seedling when you plant it; you fill the tubes with water which warms in the sun, and it holds in the heat, so you can plant tomatoes, peppers, etc. over a month early & harvest veggies all that much sooner. We've used them for over 3 years and they really work & they are Way cool! This year, in addition to my 'companion gardening', I'm also going to try the red plastic 'tomato much' I've been reading about for years- Anything to cut down weeding & make a less labor-intensive & more productive garden! Dan & I are planning "Elisse's Big 5-0 Party'' at the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre for July 4th, and I want tons of flowers & lots of veggies for us (and our party-hearty guests) to be able to pick! (I still have dreams of a giant sunflower meadow, if anyone wants to come & help till & sow on May 15th...)
I've got my Tabasco pepper seeds from Louisiana, bags of onion & garlic bulbs from Tractor Supply, & now my bag 'o seeds from Lowe's- spring must be just around the corner! :-D
I just set up a Facebook page for the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre on with a coupon for a discount on lodging at the Inn and for our on-line Gift Shop Please join us on Facebook and get the coupon- and share it with all your Facebook friends!

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