Thursday, May 27, 2010

Garden Time!

So where the heck have I been? It's been nearly two weeks since the county fair! Well, truth be told, I have been so busy knitting myself pretty that I haven't had time to post about it. And to be more accurate, I've been crafting my impending wedding pretty. MANY many blog posts to come on that topic in the near future. In the meantime, I offer you this photo which I think is a metaphor for my recent state of mind: wedding planning book (a moleskine notebook with fabric sewn across the front) and chips and salsa (stress eating!).

But I've ALSO been busy gardening myself pretty. Folks, it is officially that time of year. And I am happy to report that our plants are safely in the ground. Heck yeah! In honor of the amazingly lovely plants we dropped in the yard weekend before last, I thought I'd show you a photo montage, walking you through the life of a plant from seed to ground.

The life of every plant begins with me stabbing the bottom of a plastic dollar-store cup with a steak knife. The cup needs drain holes, and in my opinion (or rather, kitchen) there is no better plastic-stabbing tool than a steak knife. If you use the really really cheap and flimsy plastic cups, a steak knife can stab through three at a time!

Next you make a mess in your living room. You can see how carefully I filled the cups with soil. Also, a quick note about soil: many gardening enthusiasts believe that you need to start your seeds in "seed starting formula," or in some fancy peat moss sponge like thing. While I'm sure that these things are really great, Robb and I are sort of believers in just filling cups with dirt and putting seeds in them. They seem to grow, so, um, that's what we do. We are simple people! But if you have had a different experience, won't you share it in the comments section?

Then you realize you ruined your nails.

I planted all of the onions this year while watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics on February 28. It was awesome! I love it when TV is on that you feel like you should be watching, but you don't really have to watch that closely, so it's just on in the background and you do other stuff.

And then I put the onions in the windowsill of our bedroom. There's probably some wiccan lore that says it's bad juju to grow onions right next to your bed, but so far we haven't felt the negative effects. Fingers crossed! By the way, I love the contrast here of future spring veggies and snowy curbs.

A few days later, the seeds did this! Do you see the little sprouts shooting up? There is nothing more beautiful than the miracle of life bursting from a dollar-store cup.

And a few weeks later they had done this! (Note that the snow had melted. Seasons are-a-changing right before your eyes...)

And about two and a half months later, we were ready to put our plants in the ground. Did I mention that we'd planted just a few more in the meantime? Ahem: 4 kinds of lettuce and arugula, 16 various tomato plants (I went overboard), carrots, broccoli, approximately one million hot and sweet peppers (Robb's absolute favorite), about a dozen kinds of flowers, peas, corn, cucumber, watermelon, sage, spearmint, basil, thyme, dill. Am I forgetting anything? I don't know! Probably.

The little popsicle sticks in each container helped us figure out what the heck was what.

Robb's peppers were very excited to go in the ground on this sunny day. (In this photo, I feel like they each have a very distinct individual personality. I sort of want to put googly eyes on them and do a stop-animation movie.)

This delicate little hollyhock was also excited to be planted. Nervous, but excited.

(Okay, okay...I'm done giving personality attributes to the plants now.)

We drew out a very professional-looking map of where everything would go.

Robb cut some stuff with scary power tool saws. (I held down the lattice and tried to cover my face from flying bits. I am not really a power tool kind of girl. Too much shrapnel! Who wants face splinters!?!?)

And then we started to put the little plant-a-roonies in the ground. This basil plant came out of its container particularly nicely. (Sidenote: the next day it got half dug up by squirrels! It was a near-death situation. A close call, but the basil plant is now recovering nicely.)

And finally, Robb was kind enough to document me planting the first tomato of the season. Here I am, stoically posing with my trowel and cup.

Digging the hole.


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