Friday, February 11, 2011

Amateur Farmers At Work



Living in such a warm place has many benefits. Not many others in the nation can say they plant seedlings in February! This is actually considered our planting season...or one of them, anyway. Getting the little plants ready now will mean our garden will be incredible all summer long! Yes, a garden. We are growing strong.

Walmart was our place of choice to select all of our potential garden components. We found some Miracle-Gro potting soil, Jiffy Cups (which transplant with the seedlings and decompose to provide even more nutrients), and several types of seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. We don't really have a place for these transplants to end up...yet. Most of the little guys need about six weeks to germinate and be healthy enough to move to another plot of dirt. So that gives us a time frame of when we can work towards getting our garden boxes done! We bought pretty, green pots for the herbs to call home once they are large enough and strong enough to be outside. Though I'm hoping we are now away from the freezing temperatures every night, it still gets down to about 34 degrees. And that's a little too cold for new plants to survive. We want to provide every chance for them to flourish, so they are sitting on two windowsills in the house that receive the most sunlight. I'm going to buy a little water bottle today to help keep the little pots moist and prime for growing seeds. The greenhouse has begun!

To be honest, I really feel like I'm a fish out of water. I've always dreamed of having a garden, and having our own home is a good excuse to finally begin growing plants of our own. I'm intimidated, however, at keeping everything straight! I'm also a little worried about what to do with the food when it comes all at once. My sister and I have therefore begun talking about learning how to properly can. I'm on a mission to become more self-reliant with our food supply, and having our own canned goods in our pantry can be a big part of that independence!

We didn't buy enough Jiffy Pots, so I am headed back to the store today to get more of what we need. Then we can finish planting the seedlings for my herb garden, which I'm thrilled about and know I will use in my cooking! We will also be planting bulb onions and would have done so yesterday if I would have let John plant them randomly in our yard. I really want to do this right and have a place for everything. Without much concern for aesthetics, I am sure this approach frustrates my husband. I just want it all to look nice and feed us at the same time! I ask for too much.

Do you have any helpful hints or suggestions as we begin to design our waist-high garden boxes? Or any gardening tips in general? John is fine and knows what he's doing, but I never refuse reassurance!

5 comments:

  1. Cool! I can't wait to watch all the little plants grow!

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  2. The best thing I discovered for a successful garden is to water it. Took me about five gardens to learn that right there, so you're welcome.
    ;)

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  3. oh canning is fun and easy! well it is lots of work but having the finished product feels amazing. salsa! tomatoes! I miss my sisters getting me to can things with them. can't get get produce out here anyway...

    plentiful garden means your neighbors will rely on you are their produce purchases.

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  4. GOOD FOR YOU MICAH! Here's my tip- build a little drip system for watering. Well worth it! Here's my nother tip: you don't have to can to get to heaven! Giggling. Only take up canning if there's a reason to. If you don't use a ton of salsa, but really like home grown spaghetti sauce, FREEZE IT! Good luck!

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  5. Have fun gardening! We've been square-foot gardening for the last 3 years with some success. My tip is to expect it to be a learning process. I still don't feel like I know much.

    Also, I think it's great that you are getting into gardening/food storage now. I know some women put it off until they have kids, but that's when you realize it would have been a lot easier without the interruptions of young children (and when you still have two hands). :)

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