Every now and then you just find the perfect tomato! I don’t know what it is about this one, but it’s my favorite! :)

Tomato, corn, squash, cucumber and other plants on the compost pile. Such sweet sorrow…

The tomatoes have all been cleared. What a fun gardening season this was!

Two of the gardens are covered for winter beneath several layers of clear and black plastic sheeting (Visqueen). As you can see, I have a lot of items holding them down and even then, I’m not sure it will withstand the windstorms we get here, but time will tell. Hopefully, I will leave this sheeting on until mid-to-late April. But knowing me, I’ll be itching to start working the soil the first sunny day in February or March. I shall try to exercise patience. :)

Here are the bare-root strawberries I purchased and potted Friday. It’s Sunday today (Go Ravens!) and these have been growing about three-quarters of an inch per day. I have them on a table near a back window of our home, with grow lights over them. The lights are on a timer – on at 9 a.m. and off at 11:30 p.m. Just about everything that ends up in the greenhouse or cold frames will go through this process until they can be moved out. It’s still the middle of winter here, so I don’t mind sharing part of my dining room with these berries. :)

This weekend, I prepared the greenhouse for the 2013 growing season. I washed everything down with bleach and water, scrubbed the shelves, turned over the pea gravel and connected the thermostatically controlled heater and cooling fans. It’s a go!!!

The first greenhouse residents this year are the strawberries, started indoors. As I put in a lot of rhubarb for this year, I also need a good strawberry crop to make my wonderful strawberry/rhubarb jam!

Here are the tomato and onion starts near our back window, beneath the grow lights! I have several tables set up – this is the one that gets the best light. The others, near the wood stove, are for seed germination. When the seeds sprout, they are moved here and then, later, into the greenhouse.

Here are the Territorial Seed “Plum Dandy” tomato starts. I have never grown them, but was so excited (as any true gardener!) to see them start poking up out of the soil. These are advertised as good “juicer” tomatoes, so I look forward to a bountiful harvest! Today, I will plant tomatillos!

The rhubarb are coming in strong! These are some of the six that I put in last fall. Several people shared rhubarb root with me, which I then divided, planted and shared with others what I could not use. I see pie and jam in my future!

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