Thursday, April 1, 2010

April {First Garden}

Wow…it is April. Oh how happy I am that it is April. April means it is spring. April means that I am one month closer to starting my garden. April means it has been a years since we went on our first house hunt. April…I love you!

How does your garden grow?
I have been busy the last few weeks growing plants! Yes, I can officially say that I have grown something from seed. I was a bit apprehensive of this at first. I was pretty sure I was going to go the easy route and just buy starters this year, since it is my first year of gardening. However, knowing me, I never do things the easy way. I wanted to try my hand at starting seeds. It is suppose to be the least expensive way to garden, because you can get A LOT more plants from a pack of seeds then you can from buying starts. However, I did somehow manage to spend over $50 bucks at Northwest Pet and Seed a few weeks back buying supplies. I decided to use the expanding pods to start the seeds in. I also found that I could have made my own with news paper or the cardboard from toilet paper rolls (might try this next year). Before heading to the store, I made a list of the different verities I wanted to grow, if you don't do this it can be super overwhelming standing in the seed isle trying to decide what to buy.


Based on this outline of how I wanted to lay out the garden, I ended up with more sees than I orginally planned on...
 

The seeds I chose were from a line by Botanical Interest. I had been looking online at Park Seed and Burpee's, but didn't really feel like buying seeds online for some reason. NW Pet and Seed has a huge variety (and Year of Plenty suggested them) so I decided to try them instead. I was very impressed with what they had and chose the Botanical Interest line because of the price, the vast amount of info on the packaging, and the cute pictures (I know this is a silly reason). I ended up doing a Google search on them when I got home, and thankfully they had fantastic reviews.

The Goods:
 
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The first step was to prepare the "pods" (I don't know what they are called). They need water to expand so that you can plant the seeds. I poured in what seemed like gallons of water, until they stopped expanding. After that, I decided on how many rows of each seed type I wanted to plant. I went with 3 rows of tomatoes (I know that is a lot of tomatoes, but I figured that I could give them away if they all germinate and it was good practice), 2 rows of sweet peppers, 2 rows of jalapeños, 1 row of oregano and one row of dahlias. Everything else I am going to start outside (I need to start my cold crop seeds soon!).

Before Adding Water:

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After adding water:

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Tomato Seeds:

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Pepper Seeds:

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I then set them in the corner of the sunroom with the heater near by. I figured that with the amount of light the sunroom gets and the supplemental heat, they should have no problems in there.

Then I waited…and waited….and watered…and then waited some more.

I was getting discouraged, until I saw the first sign of life on Saturday! The Dahlia was poking through! I was ecstatic!

The next day I saw small sprouts of oregano (observation, they are SMALL!).
I waited another day…but nothing else sprouted. I was worried. Where were my tomatoes and peppers? Luckily, I didn't freak out too bad and remembered that my seed packets had a LOT of info on them. My nerves were calmed; peppers take up to 25 days to emerge. Tomatoes, 10-15 days.

Tuesday night when I got home late and in the dark, I went and checked on my seeds. The tomatoes had sprouted!! I was even more ecstatic then I was about the dahlias! I did a happy dance in the sunroom and then busted out the camera to take some pictures.

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