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Friday, April 12, 2013

What has two green thumbs and had to start over again? This guy!

 Thanks a lot Mother Nature for being in full blown menopause this year. I thought we had it rough when I had nurtured these seeds into the perfectly healthy outdoor transfer size, and then BAM!!! It had to snow. In March! Out of nowhere. Just once, but once is enough. Seriously thanks for that. While I was cursing the weather and pulling poor shocked, and some dead, seedlings from my awesome makeshift greenhouse I built ( I Macguyvered it out of a clear shower curtain and a metal utility shelf), I was already in the zone of reseeding and restarting. I never plant all my seeds just in case. So, round two commenced immediately. I had used a store bought mini greenhouse to sprout a ton of the seeds in stages so now that they were wiped out in bulk I had to speed things up and improvise. Tell me if you can actually make out which of these is pricey and made for plants.........

......and which is the coffee cake container I recycled from good ol' Safeway. That's what I thought. The both served the exact same purpose and one cost HALF the price and also came filled with cake, so yeah. We planted all sorts of containers with seeds to play catch up, but we did "cheat" and go to the local nursery for some starts also. Like jalapenos ( huge pain in my ass to sprout) and a couple tomatoes ( because I am impatient) and some lettuces ( for variety). We also went a bit crazy and got grapes to train on our fence and eat mass quantities of and a shit ton of herbs. You can never have too many herbs. Especially when they delicious like Pineapple Sage, which is incredible on a roast chicken. Mmmmmmm.

  So, like I said I was feeling sorry for being an Oregonian in the throes of a Mother Nature fit. Until a friend asked me about what do do with her sprouts. She lives in New York. And the temperature there right now is 41. Whooommmmp. Sad Face. I feel like a real jerk now because she cant plant squat till the ground is a happy 45-50 degrees. Same for outdoor night temp. We reached that pretty regularly about a month ago. With the exception of the random snow bullshit. I think it's safe to say we will just have some heavy doses of rain from here on through Summer which is a-ok for the garden.

 But as promised here are a few solid steps and rules and whatnot for seeds.

  • Always read the germination times on the packs and sprout in order. 
  • Try to make a greenhouse out of something. It majorly contains moisture and warmth.
  • Transfer to an outside spot when it starts to get sunny and outdoor night temps are above 45 preferably above 50 to make sure the sprouts make it.
  • Put into the ground after they get a round or two of "true leaves". Not just the rinky dink roundy ones they get first.
  • Cheap quick and easy night caps for short starts can be clear Tupperware or freezer type containers covering the plants like little greenhouses. Especially if they are tasty ones that deer or animals like to nibble.( let it be known that spell check was all up on knowing what Tupperware is)
  • You can plant things that are a feast for bugs and animals next to things the plant predators wont like to protect them. Like spicy pepper plants or garlic or onions. Marigolds work to repel lots of bug types too. 
 If it stays cold for a bit and you are freaking out about your starts getting big, you can totally pot the strongest ones and just keep the going inside till it warms up.Like I said, Mother Nature is being a real bitch right now so waiting isn't a terrible idea. You don't want to have to start over like us.

 A couple side by sides of yard progress as promised. 

And also here is that container thingy I was talking about. It really is super easy. You can see a few happening in the picture above. They just need a little more greenhouse time and this works perfectly.

Happy gardening, indoor or out. I will post the avocado stuff later. The boy is up from his nap now. :)

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