Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a garden

We have a good 8 inches of snow on the ground here in State College, but I am already starting my garden for the year. What an adventure...! It's rather like a grand experiment, except that doing something that others have been doing for a long time, not something novel.

From what I've been reading about gardening and seed-starting indoors and other such topics, it appears that everyone has different results, so the best idea ("scientifically") seems to be to just DO IT and see what works for one's self.

The past two years I have had something of a vegetable garden in a small plot on the grounds of my apartment complex, and last year I did some container gardening on my patio (which turns out to not get very much sunlight, and thus does not produce very great crops). This year I plan to reclaim a spot around the apartment AND attempt to gain access to another plot at a community garden (my name is "in" at two different locations). I've spent hours this winter planning out what to plant, when to plant it, where it will go, and even a little bit of what I'll cook it into. NOW...despite the fact that I only have a true claim on about half of the space I've planned to fill with plants, it is finally time to get started.

On Saturday (February 19) I put my first seeds into "soil" using some Burpee seed-starting kit I got from Lowe's. I'm still rather confused about which seeds need to be in the dark to get started and which don't, but I began by seeding some broccoli and some lettuce, and then I put them in a dark-ish corner of my dining room where it's warmest. On Monday morning...I had my first broccoli sprout!

This morning, I have a total of 5 broccoli sprouts (out of 9 seeds) and 1 lettuce sprout (out of 8 seeds). It is so exciting to see them starting out, and I hope I can not kill them before it's time to get out into the garden! I'm glad that there's always the farmer's market where I can buy seedlings...and even the crops if it comes to that!