Friday, March 24, 2006

First Sprouts

First Sprouts Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Why seeds instead of plants?

I like starting my own plants from seeds for several reasons.

I like that it gives me an opportunity to start gardening earlier in the year while there is still snow on the ground.

You also get better variety with seeds.

There are so many different varieties of plants, but only a few of them are available to buy as plants.

There is also the quantity issue - you can start any number of plants, not be limited to the idea of buying them only in six packs.

I also feel that they are not truly organic if I buy plants - I don't know what has already been done to them before I get them. I also feel that I can grow healthier and more sturdy plants than I can buy in the nursery.

While I love going to a nursery and looking at new plants, I just hate the crowds there in the spring - no waiting in lines if I have already grown my own plants.

And I have the freedom to start them and grow them at my own pace - if you want the best looking plants at a nursery you have to buy them early and they are not ready to be planted out then - and sometimes they get splindly and not so good looking by the time you actually plant them - or you go ahead and plant them too early and lose them.

The only plants I buy as plants are onions. I used to use sets - they are so easy to buy and plant, but I just have never had the luck with sets - they just don't grow the beautiful onions that I love, so about 8 years ago I started buying onion plants and will probably always do so. I buy a bundle of plants which contain 50-75 plants and that is a lot onions - I just don't have the space to start that many plants. I started 100 plants total in my basement this year and that was several varieties - I would need another table and set of lights just for onions - and I just don't see that happening.

Every night Andy (my son) and I go down in the basement and check to see if there are any sprouts yet. Having all of the plants on a table under lights makes it so much easier for a 6 year old to learn about plants and gardening. He is alreading picking out what he wants to plant in his section of the garden, but he says he is going to wait to see which plants are the biggest before making his final decision - at 6, biggest is always best!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Here is a view of my trays filled with the pellets and covered with plastic. I can raise the lights as the plants grow - I have the lights on the lowest setting right now to provide warmth to the seeds. Posted by Picasa

I have put white tape along the edge of the trays and written in what I have in each row for identification. Posted by Picasa

I have started my seeds in pellets - I have them on a mat that soaks up the water to help keep them moist. I have them covered in plastic until the seeds sprout. Posted by Picasa

The snow is still covering my garden - you can see my compost bins in the back of the garden. Posted by Picasa

Here I am

Kathi Posted by Picasa

An Introduction

This is my first attempt at creating a blog. I have a lot of things that I could blog about - there are lots of adjectives that define who I am. I am an older mother (became a mother at age 41). I am an adoptive mother. I am a working mother. I am a wife. I parent a child with special needs (my son has autism and celiac disease). I am a sister and an aunt. I used to also be a daughter and daughter in law. But what I want to blog about is my garden. It is the place where I can escape and not be any of those things.

It is still cold here in Minnesota and there is snow on the ground, but my thoughts are already turning to spring and to planting my garden. I grow vegetables in my garden and I garden organically. I also grow fruit which I turn into the most wonderful homemade jams and jellies. For me, the preserving of my harvest is part of the gardening experience.

I started seedling indoors under lights this past Sunday. I always start my plants on the weekend after St. Patty's Day. As the first green shoots appear, it is easy to picture the snow gone and the garden growing. The anticipation of the taste of the food is wonderful. According to the calendar Spring is here - but looking at the snow outside, it doesn't feel like it - starting plants help me connect to the feeling that spring is here.

I took pictures of the snow in my garden on Sunday as well as the seed pots in the basement. I hope to figure out how to post the pictures here and keep a record of how the plants and weather progress.