It’s spring (almost summer!) and I can’t wait to hit the local Farmer’s markets. I want the fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, salad, fruits, and other veggies. We’ve all been talking a lot about saving money and I’ve had a few people mention to me that I could save so much money growing my own veggies. *SIGH* I’ve tried, and tried, and tried. Gardening is just NOT my thing, stop pushing me people! I’ve tried gardening numerous times and I JUST FAIL at it. I get the whole garden thing going nice and pretty, get some veggies and then it all fizzles out. I admit I am so creative and good at so many things, but gardening is just not my forte.
BUT, I am older and wiser now, so I decided to give it another whirl. OK, OK, see —you all twisted my arm. Just kidding.
I look back at my past experiences and have figured out where I went wrong. First of all my major veggie garden experience was when we were living in Florida. Do you know how hard it is to garden in Florida??? Let me just give you a few of the cons on this one:
1) The weather is constantly in the 90’s which causes flowers and veggie plants to wilt if they aren’t shaded properly.
2) The dirt is like sand so you have to truck in the good soil to even start a garden. Just getting something other than a cactus to grow is a miracle.
3) You have to water a GAWZILLION times a day to keep everything moist….but you can’t water when the sun is up high or you risk burning the plants up. The water dries up in like 5 minutes. If you over water, your plants wash away.
4) Then there is the rain season. Or I should say thunderstorm season. We would get torrential downpours everyday for 2-3 months and it would over saturate everything.
5) After the thunderstorm season came hurricane season. If you didn’t get enough rain before, you got it now. Do you see room for a garden?
THERE IS NO HAPPY MEDIUM when it comes to watering. It’s either too dry , too hot, or too wet. It’s a lose- lose situation there.
6) If that wasn’t enough then there was THE BUGS! Oh my the bugs….Just when you get your garden growing nice and pretty the bugs kill everything. I was so excited to have fresh veggies growing! I had cucumbers, squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe all growing! As soon as they were ripe enough to pick, they were GONE! I turned them over and the bottom sides were covered with ants, worms, whatever. The bugs deystroyed the plants. So I tried to get them off the ground, nothing worked. They were vicious. So I gave up.
That is the top of my list. I also have realized that as a crafter, I tend to lose interest in projects once they lose the “newness” factor. Maybe this is why I have such a hard time gardening? I think that once everything starts growing I push it aside like I do with everything else.
So now that I am happily back on Cape Cod, I am determined to not let my garden get the best of me this time. I really want to do this.
The gardening begins…..
I gathered some seeds that I had left over from last summer (yup tried and gave up then too). Then we went to get some new seeds too. I decided to start the seeds in egg cartons because I thought this is a great way for me to keep it simple. I need to start small to keep from getting overwhelmed (maybe that was my problem too). I can cut apart the biodegradable egg cartons and just plant them in the ground (or a pot if I choose) once they start to sprout. Yay recycled pots.
You should have seen the look my husband gave me when he saw the seeds. He had that “Oh, no not again” look. And then one eyebrow went up and I saw a new thought cross his mind….”Wonder how long it will last this time.” No words spoken, none necessary. I understood perfectly. I gave him my look back, “It will be different this time, I swear.”
I’m determined hunny. I promise. I hope…..
I promised Sebastian he could help me garden. He loves little projects and he loves to be outdoors. I figured if I include the kids in this garden they can help keep me going with it. To keep things organized we choose which seeds we were going to start with and I marked the little posts before we started planting them. We filled the egg carton cups with dirt and I showed Sebastian how to make little holes with your finger. He was so excited! Little boys and dirt, what fun.:)
Then we lightly covered the seeds and I told him we needed to water them in. He picks up his little watering can which I thought would be fine for sprinkling seeds. It’s only supposed to sprinkle.
I remembered to place the egg carton in a cake pan (or you could use a cookie sheet) so that the leaking water doesn’t go all over the counter and it is also easily transportable from counter to table this way. Well, Sebastian’s little watering can doesn’t work so well for the seeds. I forgot how gentle you have to be with seeds and he….well…he flooded the watermelon seeds. I think some of them floated into the cantaloupe section but I’m not sure, I moved one back, but I don’t know if anymore floated away. I guess we will see once they start to sprout.
I showed Sebastian after the flooding experience that we needed to be gentle to the seeds and proceeded to let him mist the rest of the seeds with a spray bottle instead. He still insists on his watering can, but I explained to him once they get bigger we can put them outside and use the watering can.
Last week when I made chili, I decided to save some of the green pepper seeds (but somehow forgot to save some of the jalapeno seeds??? — Oh well, there’s always next time). I placed them all in a baggie with a damp paper towel. I have used this method before with great success. I know that not every seed will sprout, so this is the best way for me to keep things simple and give the seeds a head start.
After a few of the seeds began to sprout I placed those in another baggie to spout some more on their own. This keeps them from getting all tangled up with the non sprouting seeds. This also keeps things simple for me again. I know which seeds need my attention.
As soon as a few of the seeds had a little tail going on them I started a second egg carton garden. It looks like more are popping each day, so I will probably have some to share once they really get going!
My egg carton garden has been growing for 6 days now and I am anxiously awaiting to see some growth.
First thing this morning as I was spraying my seeds, I saw this:
Oh my goodness! I’m so excited! Other than the green pepper seeds starting little sprouts, I have a REAL sprout. There is actually 3 to be exact, one on this side and two little ones popping up on the other side. These are my cucumbers starting. I LOVE CUCUMBERS! It’s probably the first thing I buy when I go to the Farmer’s Market. Hoping that I won’t have to buy anymore soon….at least while I have my own garden going this summer. Ahhh….*sigh*…..There is hope for me. I can just feel it.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..:)