Mar 26, 2008

Thanks be to God -- Spring has sprung!

This afternoon, I planted 128 flower seeds in peat pots: nasturtiums, moonflowers, hyacinth beans, and Texas bluebonnets. I also have 89 cosmos seeds, 32 of which I’ll try to get potted tomorrow. I’ve always been both intimidated and impatient with seeds, preferring to get nice, big, established plants in pots that will look good in the ground that day. However, at $5-20 each, who can afford it? So, I’m trying my hand at starting seeds. (I have friends who are starting some vegetables from seed in pots – tomatoes, peppers – but I’ll save that for next year.)

Last week, we also planted our spring vegetable garden. We try and follow the square foot gardening method, where planting is based on units of square feet rather than rows. It’s a good method for backyard gardens, as it takes about 75% less space to grow the same amount of food as the row method. (So, if you would like to garden at your home but think you don’t have the room, try this out. It really does work.) We have 2 rectangular plots, about 3’X16’ each, and a 4’circular plot for rhubarb and a few strawberries. We planted one of the long plots with spring crops, leaving the other for summer planting in May. We planted seedlings of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and kale, as well as 24 strawberry plants. We also planted carrots, radishes, beets, arugala, 3 kinds of lettuce, and snow peas from seed.

Miranda was a wonderful helper, bringing the plants and placing them on the soil, although she did tend to pull the plants out of the containers by their stems. I kept saying, “Honey, that hurts them. That’s like pulling you up by your hair! Be gentle with the little plants!” (She didn’t really look convinced.) She loved digging for worms, seeing them emerge from the newly turned soil, although she didn’t really like getting her hands dirty. All in all, it was a great thing to share together.

I’ve always said that autumn was my favorite season, and in some ways it is – I love the colors, the refreshing coolness after sweating through the summer, the smell of wood smoke in the air, apples and pumpkins and spiced cider. But I’m coming to realize that I find spring more invigorating. After the somewhat forced imprisonment of winter, those first warm days almost catapult me out of the house, weeding and digging and planting. I love watching the bulbs beginning their upward march, the beds of daylilies glowing that light, bright green of early spring, the little rose-red circles of the emerging peonies.
Nemo helps Mommy plant.

Our new strawberry bed.

Rhubarb and strawberries.


MeesheMama said...

I hear you. I feel betrayed every time the temp dips below 50F these days.

I'm planting seeds tonight myself. However, I didn't take a count. How in the hell do you know that you have 89 seeds?? Who ARE you?

maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maria said...

Ok, so I counted them to see if I had enough peat pots for them all. And to see how many self-draining seed pot trays I needed to get at the seed store. And as a true math nerd, I calculated how many trays were needed for 200 peat pots, if each tray holds 32 pots... you get the picture.

melinda said...

Fall is also my favorite season, but lately, I have grown a deeper appreciation for spring. If all goes well, maybe you can be my inspiration next year!

ps...I started Irresistible Revolution tonight and am in love much as I can be with a book.

Janet said...

I always start my basil from seed and it does great. I'm trying some mint this year. I've tried it before and can't get it established. Everyone else I know can't get rid of the stuff.
I didn't count, so I had to send Scott out for another tray.