Cats and Sprouts

All I have to say about this is that it’s a darn good thing cats are self-cleaning… I patted her and dust clouds poofed all around her.  LOOK! I have a gray cat! okay, sort of a dusty brown/gray, but still…

What? I iz not dirty, I haz shiny white whiskers, see?

In other news, our basil has already sprouted in just four days!

We achieved this amazing sproutage with a combination of both Jiffy and Burpee peat pellets and minigreenhouses (you can re-use the greenhouses and just buy peat pellets your second year) and a seed warming mat.  

I love power tools

And yet, for all that love, I didn’t think to take a single picture of them today.  Poor tools. I packed them all away already.

But I did take pictures of what I did with the power tools.  First though, a story.

Once upon a time there was a garden bed that was 8 ft long by 4 ft wide.  It was a very ordinary garden bed put in last fall to start some flower seeds that like to be started in the fall for the next year.  One day a lot of people came over to the house and stayed until long long after dark (when it’s hard to see you know).  As one of those people was leaving, he ran over the corner of the poor ordinary bed with his car and broke it all apart.

After this happened the lady of the house (ahem, me) along with the man of the house (husband!) decided that two 8 ft by 2 ft beds (with reflectors!) would be better.  So the lady of the house went to lumber yard and bought some more lumber to make another bed.  Then she sawed two of the existing boards in half and drilled them all together to make two boxes, see?

Then she will take the dirt from the patch in this next picture and mix it with more compost and fill the two boxes (first moving the one into it’s proper place, it was just easier for her to screw it together braced against the first one…).

She also sawed up the little 1×2’s to form the square foot grid and made a happy pile on the porch.

The End.

By the way, the two beds I just made are Bed A and Bed B from this diagram:

I’m hoping if I make enough garden beds, spring will come… do you think it will work?

My important realization that went with this project was that it was okay to do a little at a time.  All told, it will take me about 4 hours to get this done and ready to plant, maybe a little longer because I have to move the little plants from the old bed into their new squares.  I measured all the cuts two days ago, made the cuts and screwed the frames together today.  Another day I’ll move the bed in place and move the dirt, put the frames on and move the seedlings.  Then there’s some summer bulbs and bachelor buttons that need to go out, but I might do all of that in about 3 more steps… Baby steps to making a garden!

Garden time!

Starting with little peat pellets expanded in warm water, Jody and I spent several hours last night tucking seeds into dirt so that they would grow.  We made them all cozy on a nice seed mat that will warm the dirt up like it’s actually warm outside or something 😛

They’re covered with nice plastic lids to keep in the moisture, and I went and looked at them this morning and they were all covered in water, so you couldn’t even see the pellets!  I’ll resist peeking for at least a week since that’s the absolute earliest that any of them ought to be sprouting, more like 2 weeks for most of them….  I’m so excited!

And where are all these tiny plantlings going when they get big enough to go out on their own?  Well I’m just so glad you asked!

The diagram above is oriented so that the house would be at the top of it.  The bed labeled “existing bed” is the one already there (I’m SO original aren’t I?  I should have named it like Georgie or something, ah well).  The light yellowish area is my gravel walkway, and beds A and B are the new 8ft by 2ft beds that I’m adding.  All three of these beds will have a mix of herbs and flowers (and flowering herbs! yay!).  The bench is, well, er… the bench, who knew?

This diagram is oriented so that the top is the fence (based totally on my perspective standing in my yard, see) so effectively on a North/South/East/West diagram, this one is oriented topside north-ish, which makes my other one upside down-ish, but ah well. It makes sense to me, so there.  The two beds at the top will be berries, one we’re adding this year (the one on the left) and the other we’ll put in next year.  They are 8ft by 2ft beds, and we’ll be putting in three berry bushes per bed. The squares and lines represent the trellis we’ll train them to.

The other beds are mostly veggies in the form of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and carrots.  We’re adding basically more of everything we did well at last year (tho we didn’t do any tomatoes, onions or carrots :-P) and hoping to have enough to dry, freeze and can for winter use.  We’ll still get the rest of our veggies from our CSA and eat them during the 6 months that we have  them.  The exception to this scheme is bed one, which will be sunflowers.

Now if you’re really crazy and want to see a blow by blow of what goes where exactly (subject to change of course, click more for the planting layouts of each bed 😉

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