Wednesday, March 4, 2009

so many seeds to sow

For the first time in 12 years, we're putting in a vegetable garden. M and I built a couple of lovely raised cedar beds a few weeks ago. Now we’re waiting for an opportunity to get them into the ground and filled with some local soil. In the meantime, I’m relearning the art of growing vegetables. The ability to access information sure has changed in the last 12 years! In a few short hours, I learned tons about how to grow everything imaginable in our climate. My initial plan included waiting until starts appear in nurseries, then buy a few to grow in our beds. That should be simple enough. Beyond assisting on a science fair project, I don’t have much experience growing plants from seeds.

Then I read Laurie’s blog, She's starting seeds inside, right now. Using egg cartons. She made it look so easy and fun. I was inspired. Since our hens seem to be on strike, we have plenty of egg cartons waiting to be useful. So accompanied by a small dog and a smaller list of supplies, I escaped to Portland Nursery. The seed section was fascinating, and crowded. My short list suddenly grew to include all the veggies we eat on a regular basis. I wedged myself in between two customers, contemplating which herbs to buy, to quickly snatch up the last packet of genovese basil. Several racks were already cleaned out of other popular items. At the beginning of March! Yeah for backyard gardeners!

Two hours later... and two trips to the car... I brought home two blueberry bushes, potatoes, garlics, seeds, seeds, seeds, seeds... starting trays, soil... and did I mention seeds? butter lettuce, mesclun mix, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet onions, red onions, carrots, delicata squash, cilantro, basil, beans.

garden plantings

I poured some of the seed starting soil into a bucket and mixed it with water...

garden plantings

I filled each egg carton compartment with a ball of the wet soil. Seeds were planted according to the package instructions for depth, and covered with a thin layer of soil. I then placed the cartons into the black plastic trays I purchased and positioned them in front of our south facing windows... now it’s up to the sun and a daily dose of water sprayed onto them.

garden plantings

This experience leaves me thinking we may soon have an excess of little veggie plants. We're probably just in need of a few more raised beds. Most seeds need at least 6-8 weeks to grow inside before they go out into the garden. So... time to sow!


Susan said...

According to the number of seed packets you have there, Cindy, you and M better get busy building those extra raised beds! You will have enough veggies to feed yourselves and half your neighbors. Maybe you can take up preserving them, too.

I think folks are getting scared in this economy and are trying to raise more of their own food and do what they can to offset shortages.

You will love having your own source of fresh, wonderful-tasting veggies and fruit. It's a lot of work, but so worth it. And think of all that free fertilizer you're accumulating!

Cindy said...

Susan, That's what I was afraid of! I've already alerted my parents that they shouldn't buy any plants this year... we'll share. We decided last summer that either we join a CSA or grow our own. The locally grown stuff tastes so good!

I'm looking forward to the day when our chickens are more than poop machines again. Haven't seen a fresh egg in weeks.

mumblyjoe said...

I like your photography! It was a bit of a surprise to find such striking photos in an piece about gardening.

BTW, we had a wonderful garden down in Lake O last year. It was so wonderful the deer and raccoons pretty much ate the whole thing. D'oh! This year, we're investing in better fencing.

Bev said...

Hey S -- check with Portland Nursery (since they KNOW everything, imho) -- I was told you have to have 3 Blueberry bushes in order to do correct pollinazation and get the fruit. I read that you only got two. But why buy a third if two will do the trick! Good luck. mmmmmm fresh veggies.