Friday, February 24, 2017

Garden Friday

Spring Fever has hit around here.
Seeing the season come alive with buds-a-bursting and blooms-abounding
has sent me outside to get started with our first garden in North Carolina.

Pansies are a favorite, 
with their sweet faces smiling up at the sun.
It was just too hard to resist picking up a few of these
in colors of yellow, orange and violet.

 At our local farmers' market,
we were able to pick up a few cauliflower starts.
 This is the Snowball variety.
Although I've never grown these before,
I am looking forward to seeing how similar they are to broccoli crops.

It felt good to be out in the dirt again.
These two larger pots were left here by the previous tenant,
so we put them to good use.
Until I get some more pots, 
I'll be using tin cans, eggshells and toilet paper rolls
in which to sow my starts.

 A sunny side porch will give these a good dose of just what they need.

We picked up some seeds at Renfrow's when we were there the other day.
Although their selection is ginormous
I restrained myself and bought just these few.
That gives me an excuse to go back and pick up some more! 
In case you missed our post about this amazing mercantile, read this.

Here are some of the cans we've been saving
to use for our seedling starts.
A nail to pierce the bottoms is all that is needed for drainage.
These can be used again and again,
as seedlings are transplanted in the garden.
Recycling at its best! 

They have a place near a sunny window,
and have even spent some time outdoors,
now that we're consistently in the 70's during the day.
At night I bring them back inside and place
a cover over them to hold in the heat and moisture.

We're also experimenting with micro greens.
Micro greens are a bit different than sprouting,
in that they require soil and not just water for starting.

These alfalfa sprouts were started this past Monday.

Using an old bakery container (no holes in bottom),
I added some seed starter mix and sprinkled the alfalfa seeds liberally over the top.

Instead of covering the seeds with dirt, 
we used a wet paper towel.
It's important to compact the soil with your hand first,
and then again when the seeds are added.
Adding a bit of water to the container 
ensures that the seeds will not dry out.

Closing the lid helps keep the seeds moist as well.
The container was then placed in the food pantry,
as this step does not require light for the seeds to sprout.

I checked on them yesterday morning,
and this is what I found under the paper towel.
At this stage, they are placed near a sunny window
(with the lid open)
to collect the precious rays of the sun to allow for photosynthesis.
Then they'll actually look like micro-greens! 
You can find the tutorial I used here.

I'm so excited to be growing at this time of the year,
knowing that we will most likely be able to keep the garden
busy up until the next spell of cold weather.
Since we're renting, we have to make certain concessions
with regard to our garden plan,
but I recently took steps to help that along.
(More about that soon.)
Something wonderful came in the mail yesterday
that will help us get the garden going even sooner.
I'll share that next week.

Have you started your spring garden?

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