A Late Seeding & Even Later Post

April 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

The beauty of garden blogging is that if you delay posting for long enough, you may already have “after” pictures of your seedlings by the time you write your seeding post. Just like those TV cooking shows where they put the turkey in the oven and then “voila!” a fully cooked turkey comes out from under the counter. While I do indeed have some adorable little sprouts coming up in my beds, I’m going to save those for a future post. They deserve it.

A couple of weeks ago I (finally) planted my spring/summer garden. Mid-April might not seem like such a late start time, but when your garden space lacks sufficient sunshine it’s crucial to squeeze in all the warm[ish] days you possibly can to maximize your growth period.

Let’s begin with soil. I recently attended a workshop by Angela Moran, Community Food Coordinator for LifeCycles Project Society. Angela is a seasoned urban farmer and a wealth of rich gardening knowledge and overall just a really smart and lovely person. She spoke of many many things that blew my mind and a few things that I’ve definitely been doing wrong over the years … including soil. Angela said something along the lines of: “With regular gardening, you’re farming the plants. With organic gardening, you’re farming the soil.” [insert overhead light bulb here]. Apparently one of the worst things you can do is dig up and turn over your soil each year. I learned this one precious day after I had done that very thing. Turns out, it’s really important to retain the composition & integrity that your soil develops over the years – like a big old lasagna stuffed with nutrients and gooey compost goodness. We do however, need to add nutrients each year with a layer of compost and mulch – more sauce and noodles feeding the earth and hungry roots below. So… next year, I’ll do that. It’s too little too late for this year though, so I grabbed my shovel and mixed in my compost, Sea Soil, and mushroom manure and moved on.

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When you don’t have a shed, you store your gardening tools in an old tote purse. Don’t ask me why I chose a white one.

These big trees are partly to blame for the lack of sunshine ... they'll be getting a haircut soon!

These big trees [though lovely and provide us lots of privacy] will be getting a haircut soon as they are partly to blame for the lack of sunshine in our yard.

A row of wee seeds (nope, I didn't label my rows - I have no idea what these are)

A row of wee seeds (nope, I didn’t label my rows – I have no idea what these are)

Some more anonymous, but soon to be delicious, seeds...

Some more anonymous, but soon to be delicious, seeds…

You might wonder why my garden is full of little bamboo sticks sticking out everywhere… or, if you have ever owned an outdoor cat, or lived near outdoor cats, you know exactly why. No one likes a garden/litter box combo. Also, the Sea Soil batch I bought this year was quite woody – I have since removed some of those larger woody chunks to help my little sprouts break ground.

Big onion. Just, big onion.

Big onion. Just, big onion.

The Root & Bumble gang also made a trip to “Seedy Saturday” a couple of months ago and I picked up this seed packet simply because of the name. How could one resist a Big Onion? Amanda, Karley and I all planted Big Onion, so we’ll see what comes of it. Mine has yet to sprout but it’s likely just pumping some iron under the ground so it can live up to its name.

One cold frame with a broken pane (repair = future post) and some rainbow chard that survived the winter without cover.

One cold frame with a broken pane (repair = future post) and some rainbow chard that survived the winter without cover. Right: Potted rosemary and sage.

So what all did I plant? Beats me. I was all like “I’ll remember”. Then, I was all like “Ummmm….?” Most importantly, things are sprouting and soon enough I’ll [hopefully] be able to identify everything. Especially after some help from Amanda ;).

Here’s what I know I have in there somewhere:

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We also have a big planter box of golden yellow raspberries that we appropriated from a previous rental house. Those come up and produce year after year and we love them for it.

I absolutely adore this time of year. The garden is a constant source of surprise, wonder and excitement as teeny tiny sprouts break through the surface. I’m focused on keeping them moist and as warm as possible under a skinny strip of townhouse backyard sky. We’ve been brainstorming ways to bottle up sunshine … stay tuned.

– Amy

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