Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Little Early May Garden Gossip

Growing leek starts
I don't know why, but I love the idea of garden gossip. We do not think of our gardens as a drama filled place, at all. The garden is so calm and peaceful and refreshing to us. But if we pulled back nature's curtains, we'd see a lot of crazy drama and hustle going on behind the scenes to give us this beautiful, serene place to look at, enjoy, and harvest. 

I have a lot of little pots of plant starts right now--they are hardening off outside. I'm sure they were mad at me at first, putting them in the harsh glare of straight sunshine, at the mercy of the wind. But if they survive, they get stronger and ready to go in the big garden for a chance at full bloom. (it's just like people)

I've started a lot of seeds--speed up the camera on a seed being born..very dramatic. Here are two pots of leeks I've started. I tend to just throw them all together and let them fight for a spot in the sun. Later, I'll do the painstaking work of separating out each start and planting it in one of my raised beds. Later, I'll have delicious leeks to put in soups, stirfrys, and wraps for months!

Mesclun mix seeds growing

We created something special for our baby mesclun lettuces--a salad crib! My husband built it out of a wooden pallet and now it's a great weed-free bunny-free zone! Sorry bunnies. I still think you're cute.
Salad crib

Joseph loves to go out to the garden with me.

Tomatoes grown from seed, getting ready for the garden.

A pot of lettuce I bought for a dollar! It's cut and come again!

Gorgeous plants I bought from the agriculture department at our local university.
This time of year it's easy to find the basic plant starts at lots of stores and little greenhouses. But if you want some of the more unusual varieties, maybe your area has one of those year-round established greenhouse businesses, or check your local university. Ours has an agriculture program, and every May, for two days only, they sell all the extra plants that the professors and students have been growing. Our agriculture building has an awesome greenhouse on the top floor--it's really fun to go up there and shop for plants. And they have lots of unique and hard-to-find varieties. This year I bought some pineapple tomatoes--they will have red and yellow stripes and are very sweet. I can't wait!
A little ole basket of impatients I over-wintered on the sunporch

A tiny old tree waiting for a yarn bombing
So if we can get a lot of our plants into the big gardens this weekend, we'll be right on our schedule. The starts--both the ones I've started and the ones I bought--are doing great. We will have a thunderstorm to get through later this week (my little plant starts are scared!), and I've got hoses to hook up. Right now I'm carting out watering cans and babying all the starts in their pots. It adds to my workout! And of course, it's still not too late to buy more starts if I need them. I'll plant several spaghetti squash seeds--they always are heartier from seed--and of course I scatter basil seeds all around the tomato plants...they're companions. Then I throw in some marigold seeds here and there to diversify and marigolds protect everyone...they are naturally full of antioxidants! (they are in some cat and dog foods for health protection) Oh, and I have a little dead cherry tree right by the garden that is just waiting for me to yarn bomb it! Now that will be dramatic.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow

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