Spring is in the air, and I’ve managed to keep my gardening fervor at bay. In previous years, I’ve planted way too early and watched with great alarm as a late frost killed my tomato plants. Of course, the last frost date for this zone (6b) isn’t until April 6th so I’ve got a while to go before I can plant in the ground. However, it’s getting to be time to start seedlings. In fact, I’m even a bit late for some varieties of vegetable. Thankfully I’m not growing those from seeds. I’m quite the novice when it comes to seeds, and some plants, i.e. tomatoes, are more likely to survive if I buy them already thriving.
Actually, I prefer live plants most of the time. Unfortunately, there is one variety of squash that we’re addicted to and is only available as seeds. Last year, I tried to grow it but failed miserably. After all, it’s difficult to force yourself out of bed to water your garden in the morning, and it is especially difficult if you’re a sleep deprived new mom. In order to get our fix, Chris, Cecilia, and I loaded up and went to the farmers’ market every Saturday morning because there was one farmer that grew it. And on the weeks he wasn’t there, there was quite a bit of sadness in our house. (I might be exaggerating a little bit, but if we thought about it, we were sad.) This year I’m determined to grow my own. We’ll probably still go to the Market on Saturdays, but we’ll spend our money on other things, like local honey and watermelons. (We all know I don’t need to grow watermelons again. I was too successful at that.)
Despite my failure, I did learn a couple things last year. First, the supplies to start seeds can be a little expensive for something that you plan to either put in the ground or throw away. Second, you shouldn’t use paper to mark your seedlings because it will wash away when it rains, and you won’t know which plant is which until you have four butternut squash vines growing. This year, I have a new method, a cheaper method - yogurt cups! It’s always bothered me that yogurt comes in a #5 plastic, which isn’t recyclable in our area. How can something so good for your digestive system be so bad for the earth? Anyway, I thought I’d give the cups one more use before tossing them in the trash. I also marked the appropriately labeled the cups with a permanent marker. Take that rain!
So here are my kids. I might plant a few more veggies in the next few days. It just depends if I’m craving yogurt. (As you can see, I ran out of yogurt cups and had to use a few traditional peat moss pots.)
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