Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seeds and seedlings

I'm trying to get back into this whole "posts with pictures, regularly" thing. It's not easy for someone with my natural inclination towards laziness, but I figure I need to get back in the habit before we head to India, so here goes! After abusing our soil for a few years and seeing increasingly pathetic plants and harvests we decided that this year we'd try a new strategy: enrich the crap out of the soil. For fun I thought I'd get back to my food growing roots and start my plants from seeds, too. So I re-upped my Hudson Valley Seed Library membership, bought a ton of organic fertilizers and soil boosters, and planted a bunch of seeds in bio-degradable pots two weeks ago.

 A couple of comments: 1. Those pots do NOT biodegrade. I mean, maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've bought seedlings in them plenty of times, and been assured that I can just pop the whole thing into the ground where the pot will magically dissolve over time, and allow my precious planst to avoid the trauma of transplanting. What could be more delightful? But 4 months later, at the end of our growing season, there's the damn pot, still in the ground, and totally intact! And my poor plant, root bound, and hella sad. So while I used these pots to start my seeds (better than plastic!) I had no intention of actually planting them. And 2. If you live in the Hudson Valley or surrounding region and grow plants (for food or decoration) you should totally check out the Hudson Valley Seed Library. They're producing seeds locally and sustainably, preserving heirloom varietals, and offer all kinds of gardening advice.

 Back to my original point: pictures! Here are a few seedlings and many apparently empty pots basking in the sun on a broken down plastic child's chair we bought at Ikea years ago. I know, my flair for creating beauty from trash has probably taken your breath away. If it didn't, just bask in the glow of those cucumber and tomato seedlings!
Some of the seedlings grew faster though, so this morning Liel and I transplanted some peas, beans, and one zucchini plant into the actual garden. Liel spoke soothingly to the plants the entire time ("Don't worry little plants! You're OK. You'll be alright, you're going into the garden now! Don't worry..."), which was rather charming (and as both my parents and Robert were quick to point out, probably good for the plants, too). So here's the zucchini plant, over by the raspberry canes, which Robert valiantly cut back this morning to allow this planting. I figured the zucchini had the best chance of standing up to the aggressive raspberry plants. Hopefully it will be joined by one of it's friends (on the deck, unpictured) soon.
And here are the peas!
And one two of the bean plants. They're provider bush beans. Let's hope they live up to their name!
More soon. Pinky swear.

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