Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring has SPRUNG! Yipeeee!!!!

Shall love as the Bridal Wreath wither and die? Or remain ever constant and sure...

Welcome back to Wild Indigo where of course the big news this week, aside from spotting mischievous male pygmies today dressed in suspicious green attire touting auspicious pots of gold, is the Vernal Equinox which occurs in this part of the world March 20 at 6:45 PM EDT.  Warmer weather is making regularly scheduled appearances as of late which is a sure sign of good things yet to come. 

We had a nice rainfall event Saturday which coaxed more Bradford Pear trees to bloom as well as local magnolias. I love our town in the Springtime! Can't wait for the waif of wisteria to hit the air! Even my azaleas are waking up out of their winter slumber.  Thinking the rain may have germinated a few newly sowed seeds I surveyed the beds but there's no sign of germination as of yet. 

Meanwhile, I'm itchin to sow these lettuce seeds! According to the farmer's Almanac March 22-23 is the next best time to plant above ground plants so once again patience is in order.  In the meantime, let's conduct a little experiment. I've sown some seeds to grow starts. At the suggested lunar time, barring favorable weather conditions, I will also direct sow the same varieties and comparatively measure the growth rate.  Should be an interesting experiment to see how the plants measure up.  We'll see which plants grow to maturity faster, taking taste, color, appearance and marketability into consideration to see if lunar planting makes any real difference. Stay tuned!

Newly sown lettuce, cauliflower and chard. Winter Savoy (left) that was over wintered.

Now I didn't just go all ape sowing seeds all wily nilly and what not.  With my garden design in hand and a few catalogs for reference I considered how many square feet I had to work with and how many plants would fit that space as per my plan. By the way, Botanical Interests wins the official blue ribbon award for printing the most useful information per square inch on their seed packets hands down! At a glance I knew how many seeds would grow per SF which was a big time saver in planning, as opposed to looking up plants online and in Baker's Creek catalog which half the time didn't give me the detailed info I wanted.  Sometimes one must just make a judgement call and in this case I had to make several. Since I'm attempting to grow new varieties I don't know how big some of these plants will get.  But after all it's LETTUCE so how much space can .... well, again time will tell.  : )

Improv at its finest!

Obviously when you're growing plants in mass from seed you need a way to identify which plants are which. In my zeal I soon realized that I didn't have any popsicle sticks on hand! Looking around the shop an easy solution was found. How about re-purposing tags from last year's purchases? Voila! Problem solved. Notice the above picture.  They've been marked in pencil with a capital letter to their corresponding variety. Now I don't use anything fancy as far as soil goes. I'm using a mix of top soil and coconut fiber at a 3:1 ratio.  The soil seems to drain well and hopefully will retain enough water to keep the seeds moist. Into the cold frame they went and with these warm sunny days we should see germination soon.

View of the moon Sunday March 15th 7:42 am

After looking around the garden I spotted something else in bloom.  Now everywhere I've ever lived, whether in the North or South, I've always had a garden and it's always included rosemary.  I've raised rosemary everywhere I've ever lived but never had one bloom.  In just three short years this one has.  Originally purchased at Big Bloomers in Sanford, NC this big momma not only withstood a very cold winter and took a modest hit but is heralding in Spring with bells on! I expect she'll do just fine again this summer. Funny ~ I'm wondering if science has found a human gardening genome for I certainly have the trait.  Growing up Dad always planted a garden every summer. The tomatoes grew taller than me as a kid. These days peppers, onions, cilantro, chives, summer squash, dill and parsley are his staples. His Aunt had a big garden out in the country.  I still remember picking green beans and eating them raw. Mom grows beautiful flowers and as do I.  She has a green thumb for sure! Growing food, I'm finding, is a whole other thing altogether and certainly an adventure!

And with that said, in the poetic words of Jonathan Swift, May you live all the days of your life! Well said, sir!
And as always, may happiness be like rays of sunshine in your mind, body and soul.

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