First Seedlings of the Year

I couldn’t take it one more day.  The seed catalogs have begun to saunter in and I’ve resisted looking at one, but instead have filed them in the cabinet next to my desk.  It’s February you see.  If I look at seeds and green and growing, I will start to yearn – for seeds and green and growing.  Like this…

green garden

And I will no longer love the snow, which is gorgeous, clean, white and covering the entire garden.  Like this…

fresh snow

Until today I succeeded.  Until I didn’t, and then I just had to plant some seeds, just a few.  Because it is so cold, I didn’t feel up to braving the garden shed for containers and instead got ingenious with the newspaper.  These little window boxes fit perfectly on my window sill and contain spinach, bibb lettuce and radishes.


It didn’t take but a few seconds before I was on a roll and thinking creatively about how to use the misplaced mini-greenhouse out in the back garden to squeeze some greens out in late April.  Because it isn’t over a garden bed right now, but instead just in a path, I won’t plant directly into the ground, but will fill several shallow boxes with several inches of dirt and actually plant rows.  The edges of the greenhouse will need some straw for insulation and I think a row cover or two will do the trick to protect the seedlings…

Seed packets

Yup, I’m on a roll and green is in my future!

Dirty House

Seedlings The house smells like dirt and I’m happy.  The seedlings are doing well and so far I haven’t forgotten to water once.  Well, except for the little plugs of single-flowered Lemon Gem marigold that I left in the tray because they weren’t big enough to transplant into larger trays with all the rest of the babies.  I want these for my salads this summer, so I need to start some more.  The herbs and lettuce varieties are showing their individuality.  The kale leaves have begun to ruffle on the edges and have that beautiful purple tinge, the red and green romaine lettuce leafs are becoming elongated and the cilantro leaves showing their bright green delicate selves.  The five different kinds of basil are beginning to distinguish themselves too, with the Lemon Basil growing it’s diminutive leaves next to the Thai basil with it’s purple hued stems and green leaves where the Purple Ruffle basil is of course, painted completely in it’s indigo palate.

Last week I started some of the fussier quick growing seeds.  These are the ones that don’t like to be transplanted such as cucumber, squash and melon.  I’m planning on trying a different sort of cold frame this year and having all of these beauties out under it’s protection by mid-May.  That’s definitely too soon to transplant to the garden, but not to soon to have them outside and getting accustomed to their new home.

I’ve got dirt under my fingernails.  Life is good.

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing

Seedlings – A good start

Ellaseedlings There’s still snow on the ground and when I wake up in the morning the sky is still inky black, the floor is cold enough to require at least one pair of socks and I’m still wearing three layers when I sit at my desk to write.  But… it’s officially spring.  Which mostly makes me grumpy because I’m expecting one thing, (not much, just a little warmth or sun), and I’m getting another – cold fingers, toes and ears – inside the house. 

Then one weekend day, after coffee, cosy time with a good book and snuggling with my husband and girlies on the couch, I find myself a little antsy.  And before I know it, the colorful, crumpled seed packets are out; the flimsy, black seed trays are filled with moist, potting soil and the house smells like dirt.  It happens every year and every year I’m startled.  It’s almost as if there is an internal switch that gets flicked and all of a sudden I’m in gardening mode.  Whatever it is, I’m grateful.  I get far more from touching dirt and green things than I could ever give back to them.

My thumbs are green again

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing