Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sprouts and Signs

It's a busy time in my garden, for the plants anyway. While my little seeds are busy sprouting, I'm on constant patrol... trying my best to keep up with the ever changing "sprout count" and doing my best to keep the weeds out.

Up until this point, I have been in complete control of my little seed/seedlings. They lived in a climate controlled home with the proper amount of sunlight, water, wind and nutrients. Then I had to turn them over to the elements. All of the tomato and bell pepper seedlings appear happy and healthy and over the past two days many of the seeds I planted lasted week have sprouted. I'm trying not to "love them to death" (too much water, handling, etc.) but it can be difficult to let nature take over.

In the meantime, I decided to keep myself busy by making signs for my garden. I used some scrap wood we had lying around and painted the names of the veggies on them with a craft acrylic paint. (see above pic) I then attached the signs to small posts that we also happened to have on hand, sprayed  them with a clear outdoor sealant and put them in the garden. It might not be a necessary project, but for the time being it's keeping me from meddling too much with my plants well-being.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Garden Helper... Olivia

My 3 year old daughter is in love with our garden and has been by my side every step of the way. Every morning, right after breakfast she can't wait to go check on the garden. She helps pull weeds, sings and talks to the plants and loves to "make sure they are happy plants".

Olivia enjoyed reading to the tomato, bell pepper and marigold seedlings while they lived on our kitchen table. When they were a couple weeks old, we started taking them outside for a few hours each day to get them used to full sunlight, wind and slight variations in temperature (a process called hardening). A few days after we started, we had to transplant the tomatoes to larger containers. We carefully removed the netting from the peat pellets (they are supposed to be biodegradable, but I read on several gardening websites that they break down too slowly and can constrict root growth, so we took them off) then planted them in the plastic 6 pack containers that I had saved from some flowers we bought.

On March 24, we planted all of our seeds. It was a week or two earlier than we were supposed to but we have had an exceptionally warm spring here in south Georgia so we went for it. The soil was nice and warm, it's been in the 80's during the day and the 60's at night... perfect planting weather.

We have four rows of corn, three rows of sunflowers, twenty hills of cucumbers (it's a lot but we'll be making homemade cucumber relish when they come in), four hills of squash, four hills of zucchini, one row of okra, sixteen tomato plants (roma, early girl, and sweet one hundreds), eight bell pepper plants and one "giant" watermelon that my 11 year old son is growing for 4-H competition.