Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gardening, 2007: The beginning. I hope.

This year, I am growing a garden. I saved seeds last fall, tomato and pepper and eggplant and butternut squash and pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds, from things I bought and ate. I've bought seeds from The Andersons and Seed Savers and Pinetree Garden Seeds. I have little peat pots and growing soil and old containers and the gardening kit Phoebe gave me. I have a list of what needs to be grown when, and I have a map of what needs to be planted where. I am not sure that I will actually stick to this, but I'm not sure I won't, either.

I've never had a garden of my own. My childhood was full of our backyard garden, helping to move rocks (again: why aren't there any rocks in Ohio ground? It's unnatural!), breaking off sprigs of parsley to munch on, pulling up young carrots and eating them with salt and lemon juice. One year Mom and Dad planted the garden as usual and that year James and I got old enough that we stopped playing in the backyard, and in the fall they were shocked to discover they had a ton of fat carrots in their garden. We had carrots in the garage for months. In Baltimore I never thought of growing things. In Dayton I had a couple of tomato plants in pots on the balcony, but I honestly can't remember whether I got anything off of them. I must have, because every day during that hot summer I would come home and find them wilting, and water them, and by the time the sun went down they would be upright again. I wouldn't have gone to that trouble if they hadn't given me something for my trouble. Then when I moved to the house I planted some things, but they didn't do well, mainly because I didn't take care of them. And last summer it was too late, and the inside of the house had a higher priority than the outside, so all I did was pull up some weeds and plant a couple of poor plants that actually didn't do half bad, considering.

But I want a garden of my own. I want to grow things, and look after them, and eat their children. (Um.) Eric has already said that he mows the lawn and I can look after the rest of the outside (though he has agreed that watering is something he can do if necessary, though I have a greater heat tolerance than he does so it'll only be necessary if I'm incapacitated or, perhaps, overly resentful that I have to work while he gets the summer off), so this project's all mine. Which is why I'm planning on growing (or at least trying to grow; apparently saving seed is a risky proposition in these days of hybrid vegetables) zucchini and eggplant and butternut squash. There will also be things the boy can eat, like tomatoes and peppers and (especially) raspberries and strawberries, but mainly, this garden is for me. As if I need another hobby. But at least this one will get me some exercise and fresh air.

And so, here is my very first attempt for the year: starting my saved eggplant and pepper seeds. I've also ordered some heirloom eggplant seeds, but they haven't come yet--I was a bit late with the ordering because I thought Edith might want to order something and figured we'd save shipping--and I figured I shouldn't wait any longer; I'm about a week off as it is. These trays are from work; they hold tubes suitable for putting small bits of stuff in, and I figured they'd also be useful for putting small amounts of potting soil in to see if my seeds will germinate at all. I'm not positive this was a good idea, but hey; the seeds were free, and if all else fails I can always buy plants at The Andersons in a few months.


Jennifer said...

It's hard to tell how big those holes are, but the only thing I would think is if they are too small, the plants won't be very big when you have to plant them out. Other than that, it should work fine!

Good luck! I may actually plant my lettuce this weekend. I am so looking forward to fresh salad.

Jenny said...

They're pretty small, but I was thinking of this as a sort of preliminary planting, because I wasn't sure whether the seeds would actually germinate. And so far, they haven't. But when I get the seeds I ordered, I'll be putting them in bigger containers.