11 April 2011

Raised (Ish) Garden Beds and Seedlings!

And so it begins...

There's no way out this time. My seeds are here (and some are started), my plants are on their way, my beds are dug, and there's nothing left to do but start planting and hope for the best. This has the potential to be a stunning success, a moderately satisfying achievement, or a crushing failure. I can live with a moderately satisfying achievement if it means at least ONE fresh tomato still warm from the sun. A stunning success is too much to hope for considering my dearth of experience with horticulture, so if I find myself in such happy circumstances, I will be pleasantly surprised. Crushing failure? Well, I'd rather not think about it.

And now it seems I will be having a gardening buddy this year! My brother-in-law is growing a small crop of corn in our yard since he has limited space in his own due to a rather large tree shading most of it. Fresh corn? Win! The downside of this arrangement is that I now have an impartial witness to any possible failure on my part. Note to self: Don't fail.

Yesterday was warm and sunny so we took the opportunity to get our beds dug and ready for planting (good thing, too, as it has been rainy steadily all. day. long.) My dad and sister helped us dig the beds while they were here looking for rental properties, so the initial digging had been completed already. That made things a little easier. What we did yesterday was edge the beds with cedar planks, rather like a raised bed, but not so raised. Why go through this rigmarole, you ask? Well, I was recently informed by my dear neighbor that our yard is full of bermudagrass, a particularly hardy and invasive species of turf grass. Let's put it this way...one of its many names, according to the referenced Wikipedia article, is Devil's Grass. Fitting, no? My neighbor claims the roots go straight to China.

The beds from my kitchen window.
In order to keep this grass from invading my beds, we dug a trench about 3 inches deep around the beds and stuck the cedar frame into it, leaving a gap around the outer edge so I can see the stolons and cut them off before they get to the bed (we hope). This may be an exercise in futility, but it's worth a try. The unframed bed is where the corn will go.

And speaking of gardening, I finally got to starting my seeds! Not very many of them required indoor germination, but those that did (including my German chamomile, English lavender, and Greek oregano...sounds like a meeting of the European Union) needed significant time to do it. There's nothing more exciting than placing a tiny seed in some soil and watching it grow. The day I first saw sprouts in my seed starting tray basically made my week (second only to the day we visited the Indiana dairy farm where we will be getting our milk from now on....but I digress).

Some basil sproutlings (Genovese to the left, Cinnamon to the right).
German chamomile sprouts.
The only seeds that have yet to germinate are those of my English lavender. It has been pointed out to me, however, that lavender is a very picky herb to grow from seed and may take a day and an age to do so. I really hope it sprouts, because I love love LOVE lavender.

Once it stops raining, I'll get out to the beds and hopefully get some lettuce planted. The tomato and pepper plants are scheduled to arrive on April 25. I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a bit jealous. I want to grow my own veg, but right now the war against the stinging nettles is taking place. They won't die. I'd be OK with having a couple of the plants, because I could cook with the leaves, but they're all over the garden. I tried growing herbs in the house, but between the cats and the kids, it didn't work. :-(



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