Is winter biting you in the a..uh, tush? Did the vent from your furnace to the chimney rust out and fall off, so your furnace was venting into the basement? Did you get that fixed, and then your water line from the well into the house freeze so you didn't have water for a day or so? Did you fix that, and then you run out of propane? Did you get that filled, and now your septic line is frozen and the tank alarm is going off? Well, call the honeywagon and while you're waiting, do a little spring planting preparation.
Spring is a very busy time on the farm. Shearing, barn cleaning, chicken coop cleaning, not to mention garden planting. Why spend those precious hours bent over the raised beds, sowing those tiny seeds when you can do it now, in the comfort of your home, sitting at the kitchen table?
This isn't my idea. I don't know where I learned it, but it sure has helped save precious time in the spring, and it is something to do on those long winter nights. Or while you're waiting on that honeywagon.
Gather paper towels (preferably white), glue, and your seeds of choice. I usually do this with lettuce, spinach and peas, the early spring crops.
I use square foot raised beds. On the back of this package of lettuce seeds, it says to sow them one to two inches apart, then thin to ten inches apart. I know that these little suckers won't last to maturity, so I am going to give them only about 5 inches to grow in.
I put dots of glue about 2 1/2 inches apart on the paper towel, and stick the lettuce seed on them.
This gives each seed about a 5 inch square to grow. I let the glue dry, label them, fold them up and we're all ready for spring.
Spinach around here is eaten mostly in salads, so I only allowed an inch or so between the seeds.
In the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, I'll arrange the paper towels in the garden bed, sprinkle compost on top to the required depth, give it a soak if needed, and about two minutes later have the whole thing planted. I'll do another bed in a week or two to stagger the plantings, and when the harvest is done, it'll be time to plant the warm weather crops in their place.