It All Started From A Little Seed

JULIET TOMATO 3-29-13

With the unusual crazy weather we have been having, it is hard to think about gardening.  But, with all gardeners, the thought of gardening is always on your mind. When we get to the end of a gardening season, it is like a huge let down, that we have to say goodbye to our gardens, kinda like saying goodbye to an old friend.  We have grown so close over the months, we have babied you from a little seed, watered you, gave you light, watched you grow, and like all parents do at one time – – we kick you out.  Yep, we kick you outdoors and into the nice garden soil we have prepared for you.  Ah, your new home, rich soil with the right amounts of nutrients to grow big and strong.

JULIET TOMATO SEEDS

But it all starts with one little seed.  Some of our seeds we carefully saved from our harvest from last year, but others, we ordered and impatiently waited for them to arrive in the mail.  Not sure why we were so impatient for their arrival, because when we ordered them, it was not even close to the time to start those little suckers indoors.  Or was it something else?  Was it our impatience to start gardening again? Just seeing and holding a seed pack in your hands made you drool.  You start dreaming.  You start dreaming of the day when you pick your first tomato.  Tomato & cucumber salads.  I gorge on these in the summer and can’t get enough of them.  Oh wait, then there’s those awesome tomato sandwiches, and by far the best – salsa & chips!  Man, I can’t wait for the day when I can walk outside and pick a handful of tomatoes and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

RED PEPPERS 3-29-13

We started lots of red pepper plants this year, as last year we did not have enough. We use red peppers in almost all of our meals, so we planned accordingly this year to be ready for a great harvest.  Right now, I think we have about 18 red pepper plants getting bigger every day, getting ready for the day when they head outside and into the garden soil.  And if you missed our post last year on our World’s Famous Rolled Chicken Recipe, you’ve got to check it out and make some for yourself!

I can taste those stuffed cabbage rolls now!

I can taste those stuffed cabbage rolls now!

Our little babies are growing up and soon will be leaving the nest.  They will have to be strong to survive the elements, be able to withstand torrential downpours, stand tall in heat waves, and survive the small critter attacks.  It is what happens in the day in the life of a gardener.  We learn, we make mistakes, we fix them for next year, and we harvest what we sow.

GARDEN SEEDLINGS 3-29-13

When Gardening is just a dream…for now

Image

The new year has just arrived, we’re covered in snow from head to toe, and we anxiously await the gardening season, as the 2013 garden catalogs start arriving in the mail.  Every time I head outside to the backyard with the dogs, I stand there in the cold waiting for them to (ya know), and I look at our snow covered raised garden bed.  Our garden bed is completely covered in snow, as sad as it may be, but I hear it calling me from under all that cold white stuff.  Our strawberries are buried under the safe bed of straw we laid before the cold hit us, and we hope that they will produce for us this year.  We planted them last year and knew that they would not produce in their first year, but they grew big and strong through the growing season, so we hope they have a good chance at coming back.  

Image

We know that we have not had much snow for our season up until the day after Christmas, when we got hit badly many many days in a row, and we know that we will not see our last bit of snow either, as this season seems to last so long.  And, when we get up to that day called Ground Hog’s Day, we always know that the outcome will always be “six more weeks of winter”, as that is always the case.

Nonetheless, day dreaming of gardening is huge with all gardeners as we sit and wait for the weather to start clearing up, the soil starting to thaw, and that last report of a frost warning to arrive for our growing zone.  But, before all of that happens, most gardeners start their seeds indoors.  Since I am chomping at the bit to watch our little seeds starting to emerge from the soil under the warm grow lights, I planted a few Romaine Seeds yesterday in a Figi water bottle.  I cut the top off of the bottle and filled it with our good garden soil and dropped in a couple of Romaine Seeds and covered them up nicely.  Now I wait.  The seed pack said it would take at least 10 days for germination, but I am watching the top of the soil every time I walk by the water bottle!  LOL  

Image

Image

Last year, we had some of our plants not do that well, like our beans, zucchini, and cucumbers, but this year we will correct those issues to ensure our plants will produce.  We knew our beans were in trouble from the start, but we kept hoping that they would produce.  As for our zucchini, we would have had an abundance of them if it were not for the damn chipmunks who ate the seeds (while in the dirt), or the chewed the plants when they sprouted a little.  But this year, we are going to fix that issue by placing water bottles over the spot we plant the seed so the chipmunks can’t eat them.  (you just take small water bottles and cut the bottom of the bottle off and then remove the cap so air can get in)

Sifting through our Burpee catalog and other gardening catalogs surely makes a gardener drool, as they dream of the day when they can walk out to their garden and pick some fresh vegetables for dinner, and can enjoy a nice salad with home grown tomatoes & cucs! Ah, the joys of summer are only a few months away, but being able to wait for its arrival, is another thing.  I just can’t personally wait for the days when I can walk outside in flip flops again – gosh, I miss that a lot.  It’s going to be a long winter, bummer.  

What are you going to plant in your garden this year?  

Image

Bikinis, Sprouts & Hair Stiffy’s

This time of year, we all “wonder” if we can fit into our bathing suits, and the dread begins.  Man, should I have eaten that last piece of cheesecake, potato chips, or ice cream?  So, yesterday, I tried on my bikini to see if it fits.  Does this bathing suit make me look fat?  I think it is just all of my hair that is puffing it out, as I do have lots of hair.  I might have to start shaving my legs now to get rid of that winter stubble and get ready for shorts season.  The every day shaving ritual begins, and the knee nicks will start to appear.  Summer is soon to be here! 

I love playing dress up, except I hate wearing anything on my head!  I’ve got lots of neat tank tops to wear this summer and I heard Mommy talking about some new summer bandanas and some hair clips for me.  Hair clips?  What are those?  I have never wore a hair clip before.  What does it do to my hair?

So, today is Wednesday, day 4 for our little seeds.  We are amazed on how quick some of our seeds are emerging from the soil, so if you are planting your own seeds, make sure you use the best starter soil you can, as our Burpee soil is working well.  So far, in four days we have cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage and our giant California Zinnia’s sprouting.  Daddy & Mommy took a bet as to what they thought was going to sprout first, and they were both wrong, but they are extremely excited about how well the cucumbers are growing.  If only we could do a time-lapse on the seeds as that would be something really interesting to see. 

Here’s our little sprouts for the day: