Craft & Consumption

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gardening: The sprouts they are a'comin

Back in February, while tending to my terrarium, I vowed to plan my garden a little better this year and get a head start in early spring. Gardening is just like anything else, if you don't think it through and plan it out at least a little bit, the results can be kind of lame. You get what you put into life, right?

Ok, so here's what I'm putting into my garden...

Note: I am a garden novice. I am not by any means an expert, just wanted to share with you my planting and (eventual) harvesting adventure!

I have one single raised bed right near the house. If you're considering raised beds for a veggie garden, I recommend you plan to put them as close to the house as you can. That way, running out to get lettuce for a salad or herbs for dinner isn't a 50 yard dash, but simply a short jaunt away.

So far in my raised bed, I've got: two types of lettuce, spinach, beets, radishes, parsley, cilantro, as well as yellow and white onions. These are some of the early spring vegetables & herbs that I chose to plant almost 2 weeks ago. Supposedly these hardly little guys can handle a few cool nights.

I only have 1 raised bed so far, so I have to plan my space carefully. I'm saving room for plants that need to be planted later in the spring, like tomatoes, corn, cucumber, and peas. This leaves about 1/2 of my little teeny garden unused for the next month or two. Since I have to water and tend to the little vegetable seedlings anyway, I decided to plant some flower seeds so that I have little annuals to transplant to my pots in May! Annuals can be so expensive when you buy them as plants, so if the little seedlings survive, I'll be saving a bit of money!!

I decided to plant some flower seeds that I'm told can tolerate the cold. I planted forget-me-nots, snapdragons, lupine, and bachelor buttons. I have plans for more, but need to wait until the weather warms up a bit.

The most exciting thing about this process by far is how quickly the seeds germinated and sprouted, I took these photos exactly 1 week after planting and already the lettuce and bachelor buttons were peaking through the surface!

With each group of seedlings, we followed a routine for planting (thanks for the help Pam!). We used a long stick to create uniform, shallow trenchs in the soil. Then I poured the seeds into my hand (much more control than pouring directly from the seed pack), and sprinkled the seeds in the trench, trying to space them evenly. Once the seeds were distributed, I then "pinched" the soil to cover the seeds and patted them down firmly with my hands. The final step is to get out the sprinkler and give the little guys a good soak for at least 10-15 minutes.

And wah-la... food and flowers are on the way, in just 7 days!! Isn't mother nature amazing??

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