Friday, April 1, 2011

Waiting for Sprouts

I did my last round of "winter" sowing this week, getting some last-minute seeds put out to sprout.  I usually see seedlings in mid-April, so I figure once we get past this cold spell and get some weather in the 50s, things will start moving in my planting containers.

Winter sowing as of last week; I've added more to the collection now.

I've got about 60 containers outside for myself, and another 20 for a friend.  I sowed less than I have in past years, but I've been more choosy about what to grow.  Also, I still have less ready-to-go garden space at this house than I had in my old house, and not as many microclimates.  The old garden was smaller, but it had a wide variety of conditions - from full dry shade, to heavy tree shadows, to moist shade, to sunny garden heaven, to dry, hot, baked-to-a-crisp-and-inundated-by-road-salt-by-the-street.  I tried growing just about everything, and had a huge variety of stuff crammed into that .14 acres.  Now I've got .4 acres - give me a few years to fill it up.

I planted more zinnias, some jalapeno peppers, romanesco broccoli (you know, the bright green cross between cauliflower and broccoli that looks like a living fractal), and baby pak choi.  I planted more cosmos, more lavender, and 'Blue Star' morning glories.   I decided not to plant marigolds, because those are easier for me to buy ready to plant at a box store - one of the few things I like better from a commercial grower, since I'll need dozens of plants to put around the drip line of the weeping cherry.  That's one place where uniformity and an early start to the season are beyond my reach.  Also, I can pick the exact colors I fancy at the moment.

Aldi had a nice assortment of seed last week, for $.49 each, so I bought 6 packs of 'Jewel Mixed' nasturtiums, the same ones that went totally jungle on me last year and were so gorgeous.  I've also got two packs of dark mahogany red 'King Theodore' nasturtiums to mix in.  I won't plant those until the end of April or early May, depending on the weather.

My sweet husband will be building me a few more raised beds later this month, to complete the row along the back of the yard.  Some warm day in the next couple weeks I need to dig out the layer at the bottom of my compost bin and spread the black gold in those new beds, and mulch them well.  (I told Safety Guy that if he schlepped the wheelbarrow around for me, I'd pay him - he's been looking for ways to earn money to get another game system.)   It feels so good to be out in the yard again!

I'm hopeful about the new growing season.  But isn't that what gardeners do?  We hope and plan, and make the best of what comes our way, not knowing each year if we'll face floods or drought, bugs or disease, pests or thieves, health or sickness.  We hope for the best.  It's not a bad way to live.