Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 1/27/14

Weather channel 24Jan14 SG

Welcome to the shocking reality in the South this week. Well, shocking for anyone who’s a native here. For us transplanted Yankees, it’s more of a flashback. I normally don’t mind the cold weather, but it’s causing my winter crop seed to not want to germinate. It’s been two weeks since I planted, and only a couple of seedlings are poking through the ground – a few kale, spinach, and turnips with a bunch of radishes. So, I don’t have a lot of outside pictures to share with you this week, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.


As I said, very little is germinating in my winter crop beds. The soil is loamy and augmented with Azomite, and I’ve been watering every other day (no rain in a while). The only issue, I think, is the cold. I went back over my garden log for last year. I started noting the day’s high temperature in January, adding the low temperature around the 20th. So, here’s a comparison (rounded to nearest half degree):

Two week average daily high temperature (January 12th-26th):

  • 2013 = 68.0 degrees
  • 2014 = 57.0 degrees

One week average daily low temperature (January 20th-26th):

  • 2013 = 36.5 degrees
  • 2014 = 28.0 degrees

Yep, I think it’s a bit cold and my seeds are going to take longer to germinate. My only concern is whether or not they’ll have time to mature before I have to pull them up to make room for the spring crops in March!

My tulips are still coming up, but it doesn’t seem as though the cold weather is hurting them:

Tulip 26Jan14 SG

Tulip growing despite the cold

My birdhouse hasn’t seen any avian visitors this week, but I caught a squirrel chewing the hole wider! I was wondering what was going on with the marks around the hole. No bird is going to want to stay in that house now, so I’ll have to have my “Garden Wilson” build me a new one pretty quick. Stupid squirrels!

Squirrel on birdhouse Jan14 SG

Squirrel gnawing on my birdhouse opening!


My micro greens and baby lettuce seedlings aren’t growing well. Many didn’t germinate either. I will admit, I was using up packages of two-year old seed, so I’m sure that’s part of it. Also, I used bagged garden soil instead of seedling starter soil, which I will use next batch.

Micro greens and lettuce seedlings ~ 2 weeks post planting

Micro greens and lettuce seedlings ~ 2 weeks post planting

My onion seedlings are growing, though. I’m hoping they’ll have small bulbs on them by the time I have to transplant them next month.

Red Creole & Texas Granex onion seedlings ~ 2 weeks post planting

Red Creole & Texas Granex onion seedlings ~ 2 weeks post planting

I’ll be planting potatoes in two weeks, so my seed potatoes are in a brown paper bag, growing eyes. (See my post on Planting Potatoes.) I have purple, red, and fingerling potatoes. Look at the eyes growing!

Seed potatoes growing eyes

Seed potatoes growing eyes

A couple of months ago, I read that putting green onions in a glass with water would perpetuate growth indefinitely. So, I bought a few green onions and placed them in a glass with some water on my windowsill. Not only are they still putting forth growth, one onion is starting to bud!

Green onions growing & budding

Green onions growing & budding

This week will be interesting. We have been put under a winter storm watch for Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Some forecasts have Charleston, SC getting almost four inches of snow! This Yankee girl can handle that. The bad part is that the forecast is also calling for sleet and freezing rain, which all of you Northerners know means black ice. I’m bringing in the firewood to keep dry and ready in case the electricity goes out, and I’ll be gathering kindling tomorrow after work. I have my camp stove at the ready, and my fireplace is cleaned out. We’re ready for whatever Mother Nature will bring to my homestead.

What’s happening on your homestead?


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