This morning I was examining my tomato seedlings and all but 4 of the 60 germinated! (I'll post a comprehensive list of varieties and germination rate soon.) They are starting to get their first set of true leaves and are looking a bit leggy (wish it was me looking leggy instead) so I'll need to repot them this weekend. I only have one grow light, so I hope that the grow light plus some window light will be enough to keep them happy while they're indoors. I'm not quite sure when to start hardening them off - maybe next weekend? Of course, this means that they are growing (which is a good thing), so not only will they need temporary pots, but permanent containers, soil, and tomato cages as well and that means I'll be shelling out a bit more dough. I need to calculate everything I've spent so far, but I'm really hoping the veggies pay for themselves this year!
Also on my mind is the sole raised bed that will be used for squash and melons. I checked planting dates for my zip code this morning, and the recommended dates for summer squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins (the cukes and pumpkins will need containers also) is April 5-12, which means I'll be planting those next weekend. Unfortunately it looks like the mystery seedlings won't have time to grow into much before the squash takes over. The recommended dates for melons are April 12-19, but I'll probably go ahead and plant them on the 11th along with everything else. And while looking at the dates, I realize that I MISSED the optimal planting date for my beans - it was March 29th! I was entirely unaware, but I think they'll be okay for planting next weekend as well. Next year I'll be more intentional about my planting dates.
There is so much to do and it always seems like spring is the busiest time of year (until fall rolls around and then I'll claim that there is absolutely no busier time known to man). Once everything is in its home, gardening will only take a few minutes of my time each day. Unless I get those bumper harvests I'm crossing my fingers for.. Then I'll get to spend more time in the kitchen preserving (which I absolutely love).
Which brings me to another point. I'm looking for a comprehensive day planner. Something to keep track of gardening dates along with all of my other commitments. Month-at-a-glance with a full page per day for tasks that can be replaced every year. Permanent address book and birthday pages. Bonus points if it includes space for menu planning and grocery lists. Plus - it needs to be cute AND fit in my purse. Do you have any suggestions?