Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Getting My Hands Dirty

Looking at all of the snow still out in my yard is making me miserable. There was some bare ground showing through just a couple of weeks ago, but a cold snap and a fresh snowfall took care of that. Nothing but snow and ice outside as far as the eye can see.

I looked outside wistfully dreaming of the blueberry patch that I long to plant up here in the wooded area near the road. The snow is just as deep in that spot today as it was on the day I took the picture. I need a gardening fix that looking at the snow just won't give me.

Attempting to console myself, I went to the yet to be finished craft/garden area to place soil in the pots I bought a few years ago. I know it will be a while before I should start seeds inside if I know what's good for me, but I need to feel and smell some nice fresh dirt. Just scooping a little dirt won't hurt anybody, will it?

This little tray reminded my of the fiasco that occured a few years ago. I amused myself with remembering the last time I tried to start plants as I scooped the soil into each little cell.

I was a fairly young mom with a toddler that was barely 2 who had an older brother that was 5. I don't know what I was thinking trying to start seeds for the first time with two children who were so young. I suppose it was the mom in me who wanted her children to grow up with the joy of eating fresh vegetables right out of the garden. We didn't have the money to buy many 6 packs of seedlings from the nursery, but I just KNEW I could raise my own seedings just as well as anyone else. I was determined to save loads of money and get some seedlings out of the deal too.

We had this great raised bed in the back yard that was in full sun. It was the perfect spot for my soon to be vegetable garden. I just HAD to get going so I'd have lots of plants to put in my garden. It had been pretty weedy the summer before, but I was going to make it my pet project this year. (You'll have to take my word for it since I can't access my older pictures right now. It was BAD!!!! I don't know what in the world I was thinking.)

I'm sure that may have worked out okay if I hadn't been suffering from depression and the stress of just leaving a job that I enjoyed, but I guess I wasn't really thinking very clearly.

I had this wonderful table top greenhouse that Cheesehead bought me, some top soil, and some seed starting cells and I was ready to plant. I'm sure I set it up WAY too early and did NO research at all before plunging head first into my seed starting adventure. I just got busy. In retrospect I suppose I just didn't feel like I had the time to be reading when I should just get out there and start doing. Little kids don't like to listen to educational books about how to start seeds. All I had time to read was books written for kids to kids at that period in my life. I stressed about everything and had to have my children in my sight at all times too. I probably dove the poor things absolutely crazy with my constant hovering and worrying about them.

I even got a great grow light to go inside of my tiny little green house. Apparently I wasn't thinking clearly as it hung so low inside the greenhouse that It was actually touching the plattic tray. That's how the poor tray got deformed, the light actually melted it. Ooops!

Since I was so inexperienced I also over watered the poor seedlings to death. I wanted it to be nice and moist in the green house. It didn't occur to me that I didn't need to water the flats every day since all of my outdoor hanging baskets needed water every day. I went on watering and waiting for my seeds to sprout.

I didn't think to check the soil or anything either prior to watering. Life was too busy to check for little details like if they NEEDED to be watered or not, I was worried that son might do something to Peanut while I wasn't looking. The poor things were so wet that once I noticed how wet it was inside, the towel under the greenhouse was soaked with water and there was a layer of white mold on every soil surface in the green house. There went that experiment.

That will not happen to me again. This time I am reading every book on vegetable gardening that the library has to offer as well as doing some internet research. Okay, so maybe it's overkill but my vegetable garden WILL succeed! I will be observant and do things right this time. I think I will have to measure my green house and see if I can fit some low profile flourescent lights inside to give my plants the light they need until it's time for them to be put outside.

After the trays were all filled with their lovely dirt and the air packed out of them, I headed upstairs to see if I could find the seeds I had bought when they were on sale at Menards. I can't plant them yet up here, but I'll have everything ready when the time comes.

Guess who I found sunning herself on the kitchen table. Speedy! Here I had told you that Sweetie was the naughty one. She's also sunning herself, but in an appropriate location. Silly cat, get off the table.

I think I'll paint some popsicle sticks for plant labeling this weekend with Peanut. More on that "crazy" project in another post. (Another lesson learned from the last experiment.)

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Nola @ the Alamo said...

We've all had gardening mistakes, that's how you learn. Isn't it funny how we HAVE to get out and handle the soil? I've been stuck inside during a 3 day monsoon, and I swear I'm having withdrawals!

Kim and Victoria said...

Hey Cinj,
Good luck with the seedlings.
Spring is ALMOST here! I'm sure of it. ;-)

Barbee' said...

One time I did an all day potting project in the garage and left the light on so I could see better. After a few hours I kept smelling a strange odor. More hours later as I went up the kitchen steps I glanced across the upper part of the garage and discovered the heat from the light bulb had melted the plastic cover. Phew, it smelled yucky.

garden girl said...

While your efforts didn't succeed way back then, just think of how much you've learned since then Cinj!

I predict you'll have much more success with growing veggies this time. You might need chicken wire around your veggies to protect them from all the critters up there in your neck of the woods.

My new veggie bed is raised and I hope that will help keep the critters out, but I'm thinking chicken wire fencing might be needed for extra insurance. I don't want to go out there and find everything mowed down and dug up by all rabbits and squirrels around here.

our friend Ben said...

Cinj, I know just how you feel! It's not time to plant here either, so of course I'm eyeing my houseplants and thinking about repotting all of them while I'm waiting. Thanks for making me smile this morning. And yes, I think you'll have a greta garden this time!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Cinj,
I enjoyed your 'tale of woe', told with some great insight,and humor! Something that fails isn't a total waste, because as Garden Girl said, we learn from it! Experiments are fun. I understand why you'd be frustrated though!! Now, your experience will add so much to your experiment this time around. I have my own experiment going, and have no idea what the final product will be...I'm just having fun giving it a try.
You must have done a great job with young son and Peanut (and still are) 'cause apparently they're thriving and haven't beaten each other up yet;-) (Or, did I miss that post) he he.

Dawn said...

We all learn the hard way, don't we?

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience the first time I tried to sow seed indoors. That's how we learn I guess is through our trial & errors.