My first seed start of this year was an epic fail. First, I got anxious and started them way too early, knowing that I can’t plant any tender plants until at least Mother’s Day, and as usual, I gave them at least 8 weeks head start, knowing from past experience that they would get pale and leggy before planting time. Second, I planted them and put the grow light and heat mat in a back bedroom, not out where I would see them and remember them. Third, I planted them just as my 91 year old Dad came to visit, we took a day trip to meet some friends, and I spent a week in Northern Virginia babysitting the eldest grand. Sure enough, I monitored them until just about the time they sprouted, then promptly forgot they were there, so no grow light, no removal of the moisture cap, no watering. I remembered them while I was in away and by then it was too late to salvage anything. The tray had dried out planting cubes and 4 to 6 inch long dry threads of plant stems. My decision was to just go to the nursery and buy pepper and tomato plants this year. Today as I was running other errands, I looked at the plants. They wanted more than $3.50 each for them. The selection was terrible. Instead, figuring I still have about 4 weeks before they can go out, I started over at home.
Started are 8 Jalapeno, 4 Habanero, 4 Anaheim, 4 Cayenne, 4 Bull nose Bell peppers. Also 8 Hungarian paste, 4 Brandywine, and 4 Heinz canning tomatoes. In pots, I started ginger, tall basil, and spicy globe basil.
When the basil sprouts and gets a few inches of size on it, I will transplant some of the seedlings to peat pots and once warm enough, I will put them in the garden, the pots will contain a plant or two and stay on the deck for a quick cutting when I am cooking or making a salad. The ginger looks pretty in a pot on the deck and it does enlarge the root, so that you can dig part of it for household use. Unfortunately, the one I started last year stayed outside a bit too long before I brought it in and it didn’t survive.
All of these efforts were set up in spaces where I will see them and remember them this time.
The grow warmer and light are on the kitchen counter below my daily dishes. The pots are in the south facing window in the laundry room where we feed the dogs and through which I pass each time I go to deal with chickens or to put garbage or recycling in the containers in the garage.
Also on this beautiful day, I enjoyed lunch with a special friend to celebrate her birthday which was yesterday and then once home, I mowed about a half acre around the house and over to the chickens so that I don’t have to wade through nearly knee high grass that seems to have grown almost overnight.
In checking out my garden, the peas that I planted a few weeks ago are about 2″ tall, but the paths are quickly getting overtaken by weeds. I think within the next couple of days, I will attack the paths with thick layers of newspaper and a thicker layer of hay. Most of the beds were heavily mulched with hay over the winter and except for the berry beds, they look pretty good.
The spring and summer garden season is beginning, I love it.
Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.