Posted by: aauntiem | April 23, 2010

Earth Day!

A couple of years ago, in the thick and sticky parts of my graduate degree, I took up gardening. I didn’t really have time to garden but at that moment, I needed to garden.  Years later and millions of mental miles away from graduate school, gardening and I are still BFF.

My philosophy with gardening is a very hands-off approach. I water them, and tend to them, but mostly I just let nature do whatever she intended.  I really just like to enjoy my garden—the smells, the color that turns a slab of concrete into a real patio, and the awesome fruits, veggies, and herbs they produce.

This year for Christmas, I got Jay all the necessary tools to begin a patio garden. For a year she complained that she wanted to grown and put out flowers on her porch. For a year her porch sat empty. I intervened; I mean I spend a lot of hours on that porch too. It was really very selfish.

Now, I planted earlier than Jay, just as the spring started. And, I already have some tomatoes and strawberries growing (I will show you those some other time).

Jay and I actually planted some seeds several weeks ago, about a week or so after mine, but we had a breakout of pollen and her poor-poor seed babies weren’t sturdy enough at the point to make it.

Remember how yesterday I told you that Jay was really organized, that she might possibly take it to the extreme just a little? Well, imagine if you will, someone that thrives on explicit directions and precise measurements when she is learning something new.

Now, imagine, if you will, that I am more of a hippie gardener than say a farmer.  Jay, willing and eager to learn, asks me questions. I tell her that sometimes it works like this or this, and sometimes I do that.

She looked at me doe eyed and tried her best not excuse herself quietly so she could grab a phonebook and call in a professional.

If you haven’t noticed, I might be an amateur everything. You would think I might, at some point, have decided to become an expert at something.

Regardless, on Wednesday night we were able to transplant her seed babies and get them started in their new homes.

For a patio garden, you start seeds in little cups.

You separate the seeds into sections and then label one  in the bunch so you know the whats-what. You also should keep the seed packet because it tells you some information about the plant that helps you determine how much water they needs, the amount of room, and how much sun so that you can take care of your plant properly.

You also need to know which kinds of plants can be grown together so you can make a container that contains multiple plants that co-exists. And,  it is just prettier that way.

You begin with hundreds of seeds. By the end, the kick-butt ferocious action hero plants are the only ones left. Only those strong enough to gut punch dirt out of the way and craw through the muck make it. Once you see sprouts, give your seed-babies a shout out. These plants are animals. Well, you know what I mean.

All I am saying is these ain’t Disney flowers.

They are warriors.

And, once your warrior  seed-babies sprout to about 2 inches they can be transplanted into a bigger container.

So, you unpack the seed-baby from its nest. Very gently, so it all comes out. Then, you loosen off some of the dirt.

Then, put it into a pre-made whole in the new pot

Pack some dirt around it and water well

and Viola!

So, on Earth Day, if you don’t have one already, why not start a little garden. Its so fun that all the kids are doin it.



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