Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hopelessly Dirty...

So this container veggie garden is really fun. My brood of plants seems to multiply every weekend. But it is SO rewarding, and I started working with seeds today. There's a hair less satisfaction by seeing pots full of soil instead of healthy transplants, but seeds are dirt (ha!) cheap and you get tons for a dollar or two. I couldn't help but ponder as I put all these little seeds in what an incredible world our Heavenly Father has created for us. I mean, these dinky little insignificant seeds that I can barely see know exactly what to do once they meet dirt and water. I don't believe it's coincidence.

Now, I do know it's pretty late in the season here to be starting seeds, but my zucchini started from seeds and they're going nuts. So much so that the one I'm keeping got demoted to the back row of the garden so it'd stop shading the smaller plants. And heck, this is California. It'll be summer for six more months.

The grand total today is 9 new plants:

  • Garlic - started these from a bulb. I wasn't planning on doing this until I saw that garlic is .50/each at the store. I can grow it for free and always have it since it is self-sustaining.

  • Herbs - started a pot of cilantro (thanks Kathie!), basil, rosemary, and thyme. This will be so good in sauces!

  • Cayenne Pepper - I'm a wuss and don't like HOT food, but there's no harm taking a risk. And, I wanna make salsa.

  • Cucumber - I'm impatient and want more cucumbers at any given time.

  • Bell Pepper - same story. Though, I do have three peppers that are getting big!

  • Tomato - I don't know what variety but in my world there are tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. I'm not a connoisseur of the varieties (yet). And it was on sale. I'm a sucker for a good deal

And I only spent $20 - half of that going to dirt.

Also touching on the tomato ripening issue from a previous post - turns out they need heat to ripen. The two that I pulled off weeks ago are now just starting to ripen, and I've pulled two ripe tomatoes off the vine in that time. Given this, I will be swimming in tomatoes in August. Or making a lot of bruschetta. Mmmmm...bruschetta on a homemade French roll...heaven...

I did also learn something else - I'm a hover mother. I've been over watering my poor plants. My two tomatoes have yellow leaves and I'm worried for my cucumber. The tomatoes should pull through if I scale the watering back, but I'm not sure about my poor cucumber :( It has been happily working on two cucumbers for me, but I see no new buds. I'm also doing something wrong with my strawberries - they just aren't good. Dare I say they're bitter. They're also not firm like a "real" fresh strawberry. If anyone has any advice I'll happily take it.

I also have this little idea to almost start a seedling co-op. I see all these leftover seeds that I probably won't use for years and it almost seems wasteful. How fun would it be to get a group of friends together and each friend starts one or two varieties, gets them to "transplant" size, and then once the plants are ready, they're distributed among the participants at a 1/1 ratio (so nobody ends up with "free" plants). Pots are reused for the next batch of plants. Labor specialization, if you will. Sure, one person can do all of this, but where's the fun in that? And much less wasted seeds. Plus, I've already given away one zucchini and the other is going to its new home on Monday. It is so fun seeing people's faces light up when they're given a real, live, happy plant. If anyone is interested in doing something like this, please let me know!

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