Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Garden: Part 3--Planting Day!

Our seeds from Victory Seeds finally arrived. Side note: although they were shipped in the time frame promised, the shipping was E X T R A O R D I N A R I L Y slow. It look 9 days for the seeds to get here from the time they sent me an email that said the seeds were shipped to the time they arrived at our house. Not sure if that has to do with the company or the USPS but thought it was worth mentioning.

The one thing that was really great about Victory Seeds is the packaging. All of the pertinent info you need for planting and sowing is right on the envelope! Excellent! That way we knew which ones needed to be put into an indoor seed box and what ones could be directly sown into the garden.

Speaking of that we had done all the prep work, it was finally time to actually get out to our garden! The plants that had already been sown inside (beans from Meijer and broccoli from Farmers Market) were ready to plant, along with the seeds that didn't need to be sprouted indoors first (carrots & onions).

We went out to our lovely little garden and started to rake up the soil to get it loosened up again and ready to plant. And look! I'm working!

After we did some measuring and discussing we decided to do some square foot plots for our first two rows. Note: we did not actually read up too much on square foot gardening, but looked over a few websites and made some mental notes and did a sort of modified approach for our garden.

Our first square foot is where we planted our broccoli seedlings. They were pretty robust so we felt more confident getting them in. We measured out their spacing and dug to the appropriate depth and plopped them in their holes. Since the tiller-man had advised us not to mix the Miracle Grow in the plot we instead lined holes with it and then covered them up with Miracle grow. Our hopes is that it would stimulate the little plants into growing into big strong full-grown vegetables!

After planting the broccoli at an appropriate depth we stood back to take a good look at our little babies! Yay for broccoli! Let's hope it grows!

After the broccoli we planted our beans that had begun to sprout. Then we took our carrot and onion seeds and sowed them directly into the soil as instructed on the package. It made me nervous not to have even a seedling to plant, but hopefully they work out! Carrots have to be planted really close so they are pictured below in the dark brown square. Onion seeds are really funny looking! They look like tiny pieces of mica or charcoal. They are shown below in the double row that is next to the carrot patch. The back row has the carrot patch, green beans, and then broccoli on the end.

After finishing up outside we came back inside and finished the job of sowing our many varieties of peppers and tomatoes. I realized I didn't document the sowing process for the beans so I decided to capture it when we did the big mama-jama.

First you take your indoor seeder, we used a Jiffy brand starter, and follow the directions. Ours said to put 1/8 cup of water per pellet to expand them. After carefully measuring a few we decided that would take forever and flooded the tray with water. Worked beautifully!

After the pellets were fully expanded we needed to open up the pods so that we could insert the seeds into the peat moss and soil. When Ange had done the last one she had discovered that even her little fingers made a mess of the pellets and that toothpicks made handy little tools! So we then made little openings in each pod for our seeds.

After mapping out which seeds would go in we dropped in the seeds (generally 2-3 per pellet), covered them back up (just mashing our fingers on top of the pellet) and stashed them out of direct sunlight. The fridge was the only place big enough and out of the way enough of sunlight, dogs and clumsy people to not get knocked over. Excuse the dust!

Now all that is left is maintenance and reaping the rewards! We'll keep you updated!

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