Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freezing Temps & Seed Swap

To say that I'm bamboozled by the weather is truly an understatement.  For years it's been taken for granted and I've been able to enjoy gardening before going to work and after coming home from work without much, if any, thought.  I've been known to rearrange my schedule to leave work a bit early, choosing to not take lunch during the day but instead at the end of the day just so I'd have a teeny bit of time in the garden before the sun goes down.  All of this is until the earth shifted (or whatever it calls itself doing).

Let me set the scene for you - I garden in what was formerly known as 'sunny' Southern California where 'seasons' and changes in the climate are so not our reality we often pay to be part of a changing climate  by exporting ourselves to some other part of the country when the leaves are about to turn a different color.  That's because it's generally always pretty darn sunny here.

My gardens are only steps from the beach (not literally but it's not that far).  Okay, let's just say I'm minutes from the beach so while a bit of fog may roll in on occasion, it's really not a big deal because it typically burns off by the time you have a really hot cup of tea in hand; and, we still have been able to garden throughout the entire year with that little bit of inconvenience.

Now, I'm not boastful (at least not now) but I have felt incredibly privileged as a result.  Actually, let me be quite frank, it's one of the only reasons I live here.  There - I said it. And it's the truth.  The ridiculously high taxes and inept political environment is not at all favorable but it's tolerated because of the weather.  Seriously.

So, imagine my surprise when three days ago I awoke to temperatures so low there was frost on the ground, ice on the ground and crunchy ice tinged grass.  Frost I thought?  Oh more Garlic soup before bed for me again.  I figured I was dreaming but the bone chilling cold, upon opening the door, was not mistakable.  Something happened.  Gazing out the French door I looked up to see the roof of my neighbor's garage  and thought, "Holy cow poop - it is frost!!! My seedlings!!!!  My FISH!".  Luckily, all was well as neither the fish nor the seedlings seemed too fazed by the remarkable cold although the fish did seem to have a great deal to say as the majority were near the surface moving their mouths as if in protest when I ran out to check on them.  So I plugged in their heater and proceeded to place each tray of seedlings on a heat mat. This was done while scratching my head while I tried to understand if I was still really just sleep walking...a couple of weeks ago it was record breaking temps for heat and now I'm heating up the pond?  Heavens.

This has gone on for 3 days now with today finally hitting 70 degrees again.  But, it's still too cold!

I know, I know...shut up you're probably thinking.  I know...but it really is cold - at least to me.  And now, because I missing out on that little bit of gardening time, I'm beginning to feel a little trapped so I've got to do something relative to gardening.  So on my way home I thought about a post I read where someone else conducted a swap a 6-seed swap.  So, I'm going to do the same thing.  But, I think I'll modify it just slightly and make it 6 and 12 - 6 for large seeds like melons, pumpkins, beans and corn and 12 seeds for smaller seeds like tomato, fennel, cabbage, etc.  Interested in swapping?  If so, send me a message now!  If I have another day of little to no gardening time, I'm going to be forced to do the unthinkable like watch television or something old fashioned like that.

I'll post more information with an update on the details on each variety and how well they did in the garden this year in a separate post.  But if you're interested, don't hesitate to contact me and let me know which variety you're interested in and what you're offering for trade.  

  1. Basil - Thai
  2. Basil - Genovese
  3. Basil - Fino Verde
  4. Bean - Blue Coco
  5. Bean - Royal Burgundy
  6. Carrot - Parisian Market
  7. Cat Grass - Oat Grass
  8. Celery - California Giant
  9. Coreopsis - Lance-Leaved
  10. Cucumber - Straight Eight
  11. Fennel - Bronze Fennel
  12. Gaillardia - Sundance Bicolor
  13. Lettuce - Continuity 
  14. Lettuce - Outredgeous
  15. Lettuce - Limestone
  16. Onion - Mystery Bunching
  17. Onion - Evergreen Bunching
  18. Parsnip - Hamburg
  19. Pepper - California Bell 
  20. Pepper - Big Jim 
  21. Pepper - Red Habanero
  22. Stock - Double White & Appleblossom Mix
  23. Sweet Pea - Lavender Mix
  24. Sweet Pea - Burgundy with White Splotch
  25. Tomato - Brandywine

More details forthcoming but until then, please feel free to drop me a quick email with your interests.  By the way, this swap is open to international gardening friends as well!

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