Yesterday I started planting my garden! I had purchased seeds on Friday, and planned to plant them on Monday. Monday came, and I trekked to Smith’s to start buying soil. Unfortunately, I encountered two problems. First, I had to walk through January to get to the store, and second, Smith’s only had one kind of soil, and it said multipurpose, but the picture was only of flowers.
Since I had to walk through a snow storm, I wondered if planting seeds and baby plants outside was such a good idea. I decided that starting the seeds indoors would be an acceptable solution, because the seed packets described the process in the instructions. (Also, I’m already afraid that I’ll kill the plants by giving them too much or not enough water, or too much or not enough sunlight, or too much or not enough fertilizer, or the wrong kind of fertilizer. Or by planting the seeds too deep. Adding snow to the equation didn’t seem like a good idea.)
And then, the soil that Smith’s has doesn’t say “vegetables” on it. And the picture is just of flowers. So I started talking with the florist lady who works there. “Ummmmm, look, I’m starting a garden,” I told her. “Will this stuff work?” I pointed to the soil. “Because it doesn’t say vegetables on it, but it does say multi-purpose. But the pictures are all of flowers. And I don’t want to eat chemicals.”
She looked at the package. “You’re trying to grow them organically? Well, this has Miracle Grow, so it probably has chemicals….but it does say multi-purpose….I think it would be fine. I use it for my herb garden.”
“Hm. Okay,” I said.
“And if you’re transplanting them anyway, you should be fine.”
“About that. Do you just use little plastic cups or Tupperware? Or what do you grow them in if you start them inside?”
“You can. Actually! There are these things that you can get, they’re pellets, and you can grow them indoors and the roots just go through, so then you just take the little things and plant them directly when you’re ready…Do you know where IFA is?”
“No…wait, so what are they…?”
And the lady told me all about these little things for starting seeds indoors. As soon as I heard about them I knew I had to have them. She told me where the store was.
Yesterday I went. I got an indoor greenhouse for starting 50 seeds. AND! I bought strawberry plants. I love strawberries! I really liked the store a lot. I actually just like country stores in general. Every time I visit a country store or ranch store, I wish I had a ranch. I want to take chicks home, and have a big garden, and horses, and wear a cowboy hat and boots.
But anyhow, I got home with my loot and planted the seeds. The way that the pellets worked is, they came in a tray. They started out hard, and looked like chocolate cookies. Then I added warm water, and they became little pots of soil wrapped in…well…something roots can go through.
I poked seeds into them. I planted cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and carrots. Hm. Fun. The seeds for the carrots and tomatoes were especially tiny, which will make them even more impressive plants.
And now I have to wait for them to grow. The package says they’re guaranteed to grow. I am less confident than that, but I hope it‘s true.
I just know this project is going to teach me loads of patience. My roommates and I went out to dinner last night, and when we came home, I wanted them to have sprouted already. They hadn’t.
Oh, and: here is a link to the blog post on FrugalDad that Erin shared to begin with. I wanted to post it yesterday, but my computer was not cooperating.
And, here is a link to Uffish’s post yesterday about gardening. I’m kind of excited about her and I both doing gardens this year. We can probably like…trade fresh vegetables or something.