February 9 ~
My tendency is to always do things a bit backwards--or at least the easiest stuff first. My place is too messy to wait until "calendar Spring" to start spring cleaning--plus, by then, I am already too busy with the beginnings of outsdoor work. So, February is my cleaning month and this year, I am starting with the pantry and freezer----eating what I have instead of buying anything except fresh fruits/veggies at the grocery store. It will take some imaginative and funky meal planning. But, today, it is 17 outside and in my greenhouse, it is 77...so where do you think I was?
Greenhouses are dirty by nature, but still need to be kept realtively clean. In the winter, though, the door is locked shut, so sweeping plant debris and dirt/mud is left for a day such as this. Still can't open the door, but I could be in there for an extended period. First, I checked for new growth. It gets cold in there at night in this weather--maybe down to 38-40--but the days are getting longer, so everything has begun to venture a new green shoot, some new blooms and lots of greens. I am on my 4th and final salad planting. Though chilly outdoors, it will soon be too hot inside to grow tender greens. I picked greens for dinner: lettuce, spinach, mache, arugula, beet and onion greens,thyme, parsley and oregano, some cabbage leaves and itty, bitty heads of broccoli and some nasturtium flowers and leaves....Pruning off dead stems/branches and leaves came next, but this time of year, what looks dead... isn't always! Careful pruning spurs growth, however, along with a tiny bit of compost in each pot and growing bed. I also saw the tail end of an aphid infestation that I hopefully finished off with a final application of mint castille soap and water spray. I never know how pots and plant trays get strewn all over the place--but they do, so I stacked them in an organized way because they will all soon be called to action when I start seeds next month. Finally, sweeping.
Spring cleaning has begun!!!