Friday, February 13, 2009

The 2009 garden begins

Seeds just starting out in the basement. You can see the heating pad used to keep the soil warm under the base.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we started seeds in the basement. My husband put together a grow light on a workbench down there, and then we decided to use a seed starting kit we'd bought and hardly used last year. We planted 3 types of tomato, 3 types of pepper, leeks, kale, celeriac and onions. We had the rows numbered and all the varieties listed in a notebook. Because we hadn't yet purchased a heating pad that didn't have an auto-shut-off, we had them sitting on the top of a space heater in my husband's office. Unfortunately, due to the small size of his office, it wasn't long before he'd knocked it over. Every single seed pod was knocked out of it's space before anything had sprouted. We put it all back and moved it to the basement, but we no longer had any idea what was what.

We still don't! Things are sprouting like mad and while we can tell a tomato plant from a pepper plant, we don't know what variety is what. We've also never grown kale, celeriac or we aren't exactly sure what they look like as seedlings.

The first tomato transplant.

We did some transplanting last weekend nonetheless. I had saved a few small pots from last years tomatoes and pepper starts, so we filled those first. Our greenhouse isn't ready yet, so the new transplants are lining the window sill in our dinning room. It's not a south facing window (we don't have any of those), so the sooner we get the greenhouse assembled, the better. I only transplanted the largest plants, but now the ones I left behind are larger and need to be planted as well. Instead of buying more pots, I dug through all the containers I've been collecting and managed to find 12 that were suitable. I cleaned them out, punched holes in the bottom, and they are sitting on the bench downstairs awaiting transplants. We'll probably try and get those done tomorrow.

Our seedling keeping one of our citrus trees (dwarf navel orange) company in the dining room.

While we've started a few veggies and have plans to add additional fruits including blueberries and strawberries, I've never done very well with herbs. I've planted them in pots before, but I think I either underwater or overwater them and kill them. This year, I have a different set of plans. I'm still going to do invasive things like mint in a big pot, but I'm going to fence off a small section of our backyard and do a herb garden. This area is just off the deck, so it's extremely convenient. The fencing is necessary because without it, the dogs will wreck havoc on the garden.

The future location of our herb garden.

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