It's probably dumb, because we have yet another series of rain or snow storms coming in this week, but oh well - if I lose $2 worth of seeds, I'll live.
My friend M has a silver poplar in her front yard. It sends up tons of little suckers every year. She usually cuts them out and throws them away, but last fall I asked her to save them for me. Today seemed like a good day to plant them, so I went over and we dug them up and I took them home.
I'm putting them in the DMZ, the area between the perimeter fence and the horse-safe hotwire fence. It's about 10' wide so there's plenty of room for the little saplings to spread out. (The internet assures me that silver poplars aren't poisonous to horses.) They grow very fast, and they seem pretty hardy, so hopefully I'll have a decorative forest in not too many years.
I dug each little treeling a hole, filled the hole mostly full with compost, then shoved the tree in and covered it with soil. I hope the compost holds water a little better so these guys can go a little longer between waterings.
Once I had all of them in the ground, I lined my raised bed with plastic, then filled it with dirt. I alternated thin layers of compost and sand-dirt, then squatted down and really worked the layers together with my hands. I pulled out a bunch of non-compost crap (nails and sagebrush roots and bits of plastic) and a bunch of itty bitty grass shoots. Then I got really excited and planted some stuff - lettuce, spinach, radishes, broccoli, and turnips. I want to succession-plant the salad veggies anyway, so I did tiny plantings of them, and I planted a rather modest amount of broccoli and turnips. All told, I only used about 1/3 of the bed.
I don't appear to have any hand garden tools so I, uh, used a fork. A kitchen fork. It works quite well for making seed holes in fluffy prepared beds!
Then I stapled some black plastic over the whole shebang. It should keep my little seeds from freezing if it does freeze, keep the moisture in, and heat the soil if the sun ever comes back out. My earliest sprout date is 5 days from now, so I'll pull the plastic off of the bottom third later this week. Five days is Friday - but right now the low on Friday is forecast to be well below freezing. Saturday I'll be away at Rides of March, and there's no point in pulling the plastic when I get home Saturday night, so... maybe Sunday morning? I dunno what to do!