There’s a reason I have not posted in a week. I’ve been completely dorking out on growing food. Organizing my seeds, planning my plot; standing in my yard, staring at the weedy brown mess and feeling like I could levitate on hope alone.
We established our garden space last May and I sporadically and fanatically tucked some seeds and starts into the soil, completely ignoring the half of the plot that contained weeds growing like, well, weeds. I regularly told myself to take care of the jungle before they went to seed but every time I had time to get in there, I decidedly turned to the tomatoes that needed propping, the beans that needed picking.
And so the season ended, the weeds fell from full attention to a winter’s nap. They awoke this month with a little posse of weed babies cheerfully waving at the lengthening days. While I wish I’d yanked the roots last summer, I am kind of happy I waited because I am SO MOTIVATED this spring. There is no place I’d rather be than in my garden with my dog, chickens and kids; dreaming with every weed yank, smiling with every unearthed worm; my husband floating in and out of vision, tools swinging on hips, working on his own projects inside our home.
A few weeks ago I opened the door to the garden shed to find that our resident squirrel had been at it again. I thought I’d closed all the holes but he found a way in and managed to, for the third time, fill every single corner, shelf and vessel with pinecones. I decided to make peace with it. He works so hard to get all those pinecones in there. We shall live with towers of pinecones and a chatty rodent who screams at me when I enter *his* home.
I found my seeds under a pinecone pile and moved the boxes out to our picnic table. Moments later, homeboy was giving me the squirrelly middle finger via high cackles and showing of teeth. We had a conversation where I told him he could keep his stash in my shed but he had to know that I would need to be in and out of there. He seemed to understand.
I didn’t buy any seeds this year, determined to use up what I’ve got. True, germination rates decrease over the years but I planted four seeds per 4-inch pot and will thin and repot as needed.
I planted tomato, melon, bean, squash, onion and kale with rotating companionship.
They will stay in the sunroom until after our last frost, sometime in mid-May.Seed starts in the sunroom!!! I have been looking forward to this since we first laid eyes on this house!
<< GARDEN TIME INTERRUPTED FOR PAPA BIRTHDAY >>
He turned 35. We made a supremely chocolatey cake that I am thankful is no longer in my home for I am certain I would be eating just one more sliver until I reached a cocoa coma. It was ugly. And it was SO good.
This last weekend, on a spring-warmed day, I set my attention to garden prep in a big way. I dug and pulled for hours and ended the day with a glass of Sangiovese and half my plot ready to receive seeds. Um, yes, it’s the half that I’d already worked last year. The weedy Jenga puzzle still lies locked under a leaf mulch camouflage, waiting for my maniacal swing of the hoe.
That little bit o’ green on the left? Our strawberry patch.
Studying millipedes and worms
I’ve yet to plant seeds but will today. As soon as soil is thawed and dry enough to be worked (you don’t want to work with muddy soil too much as you smoosh beneficial bugs and microbes) I plant peas, arugula, lettuce, spinach. So, in our zone 4, I sow these early-season seeds mid-March, with another round planted in April.
What are you up to in your plots or planters or window sills? What will you grow?
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I am feeling uneasy about kindergarten. Simply, it doesn’t feel right to imagine being apart from my daughter five days a week. In this week’s mama digs, I published an essay I wrote when Margot was eight weeks old. I’m listening to the words of my five-years-ago self. Click to read mama digs: oh change. Also, there’s a wonderful conversation happening over on my facebook page about this transition.
Yay for it being time to start gardening in Missoula! I’m planting peas, spinach and salad greens, too. Happy Birthday to Andy. I think ugly cakes always taste the BEST! My oldest started kindergarten this year and it’s great. I do miss him during the day but the full-time school experience has been wonderful. He’s learning so much, so fast! Give it a shot. Like you said, you can always switch up if it doesn’t feel right for Margot and your family.