Saturday, March 8, 2008

March + Seeds + Dirt + Sun = One Happy Girl

I am soooo Excited to plant a garden for the second time this summer! I planted a semi-big garden for the first time in my LIFE last summer, and I made A LOT of mistakes (at least 10 of my plants totally died) but I also learned a lot in the process. It is so addictive. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I cook dinner using a bunch of stuff I grew myself! (which, it isn't really something to get all worked up about... pretty much anybody can do it - so I shouldn't feel all that special - but I think that's the magic of it .
-- Growing stuff makes you feel special whether you deserve to or not!)

Anyways... Last year I went and bought vegetable plants with my friend, Sharese, at a cute little local greenhouse, and the plants did really well, but this year I decided that I wanted to go one step further and grow everything from seed (I'm hardcore...I know :P) My friend Tana (who is a gardening GENIUS extraordinaire) HIGHLY recommended shopping at Cal Ranch (there is one in Spanish Fork and another one in Am Fork, I, of course, went to the one in Spanish Fork). I loved it! They totally had everything I needed, and unlike places such as Home Depot or Lowe's, I totally felt like I could easily find everything I needed without having to track down and ask any inexperienced, "sorry, it's my first day" employees that seem to duck into a neighboring aisle when they see me coming! I loved it! So, here is what we are going to plant this year!

I am so excited for more BELL PEPPERS this summer! I know I'm probably a huge dork, but I actually didn't think you could grow Bell Peppers in Utah. I thought you had to live in the California/Mexico areas...ha ha! (Really, that just gives you a glimpse of the inept nature of my gardening "expertise") * My friend Tana grew SPINACH in her garden last year and I couldn't believe how beautiful and yummy it turned out, so I am going to try it this year and we'll see how it goes. * We're going to try our hand at WATERMELON this time, so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed on that one - I have no idea as to how it'll turn out... * I think Kortland is going to love pulling CARROTS out of the ground, and I am trying BROCCOLI for the first time this year as well! My sister-in-law, Nancy build me an amazing GROW BOX for my Birthday last year (I was SOOOOOOO excited - you have no idea) So all of this group will be planted in the grow box, and I am going to plant CORN, TOMATOES, ZUCCHINI, SQUASH, AND PUMPKINS in our big garden.

I am going to do a cute spice garden on our big deck. I'm only planting PARSLEY, BASIL, and CILANTRO (because they are the only ones I REALLY REALLY use). I'll just plant the different spices in little pots and stuff and let them decorate my back deck, and that way I'll just have to step outside my kitchen door to get what I need for dinner (sooo Martha, I know :P)

FloweR GardeN YAAAAY!! I really want to LOAD my front yard flower beds with bright, beautiful flowers that will bloom CONSTANTLY all summer, but I hate spending a bunch of $ on annuals, because they don't come back - so I decided to start my own from seed and that way it wouldn't be NEARLY as expensive! (you can read below how I am growing them indoors) CAL RANCH had many of their veggie and flower seed packets on sale for 10 cents so - I'm going to have like, a million flowers for five bucks - woo-hoo!

They had "Bulk Seed Bins" at Cal Ranch, and so I scooped out what I wanted and labeled my own little seed packets (another very special "martha-esque" moment for me.) I got Corn, Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Squash and Zucchini.

Okay, so I am just a LITTLE BIT Pumpkin Crazy... I have been for awhile now. We grew our own pumpkins last year and they were the pride and joy of Kortland's very existence! He told EVERYBODY about his pumpkins, and regularly sent neighborhood kids home with armfuls of the gourds that he grew. I am especially excited about the "Blue Moon" one and the GIANT one. Kyle and Kort are going to be in charge of "feeding" it and getting it to grow as big as possible. Kortland and I went on a walk last fall, and we passed a house that had a cattle fence set up in their garden, and gourd vines had grown all the way up and over it, then when it got cold enough, all of the vines died down and it turned into the cutest Halloween decoration ever! Hundreds of gourds dangled from the fence like pumpkin ornaments - it was so great. Our gourds just spread out all over our garden and choked a bunch of our tomatoes and peppers - so we are definitely doing the fence thing this year so they will grow UP instead of OUT and ALL OVER!

So here is the fantastic little tray I bought to start all of my seeds. I did an entire tray (72 cells) of FLOWERS and an entire tray of VEGGIES. It was easy, I just moistened the starter soil, filled the cells to the top, sprinkled the seeds on the surface, then covered with a TINY 1/8 inch top layer. (I pushed the big pumpkin and gourd seeds down a full inch into the centers of the cells) It took about 30 minutes to plant the two trays, then I misted them with water and put on a lid! These trays were only $5.99 a piece, and I have to say - I was SO happy that something like this was available (again, that shows how much I know about the gardening world...but) It will be so easy to maintain my little seeds! I am supposed to keep them moist now and in a bright spot but NOT direct sunlight (which, I'm glad I read those directions, because I totally would have thought that direct sunlight would be ideal...) So yay!

This is a pic of my box with the lid on it. This is quite possibly the most BORING blog ever -ha ha! So I apologize to all of the gardening non-enthusiasts who had the misfortune of stumbling across my blog this day!!


Jen said...
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Jen said...

I can't even tell you how stinking adorable you are and how much I love you!! Gardening will be so much easier when I give you back your super cute overals I took when you thought you were Chicago bound! Yes they have been sitting in my closet since then. I did wear them once... anyway we need to get together SOON!! Let's pick a night and hit Olive Garden or McGrath's!
Love you!! and can't wait to see your yard in full bloom!
Love, Jen