Which you know.
I've been vegetable gardening and testing out methods for better vegetable gardening and testing the soil for better vegetable gardening and stacking up tires inside which to grow vegetables and building contraptions for better vegetable gardening for a while, too.
Which you also know.
What I have not been doing all of this time - even though it's something that LOTS of vegetable gardeners do - is growing my own transplants.
And not like the hair ones.
Because my thought has always been, with our climate as mild as it is, that direct sowing was the way to go. Push the seeds through the pre-amended and bear-hugged soil when it warms up and let the rest happen naturally. Also, just go get tomato seedlings from the nursery or Master Gardener's freakshow sale because starting tomatoes indoors is a bit much.
|Who's to say what's *too* much.|
All thanks to the one class I took at Love Apple Farms wherein Cynthia bestowed upon me the great wisdom of properly using grow lights, a fan and the outdoors, I'm growing everything under the damned sun from seed into transplants that will eventually go into the garden.
But, yes, I only have room for 2 cucumber plants, 3 pepper plants, 4 tomato plants and...that there is a LOT more than 9 plants.
It's closer to 200.
|Some still need to be potted up into individual pots, so those little packs are 3 to a cell. Yikes.|
Because, as it turns out, I tend to get *into* new gardening methods and then run fucking rampant with them without any regard for the final outcome.
Thankfully - as I started to border on frantic while imagining that some of my plants might have to *GASP* go into the composter - I devised a few plans.
Plans like giving them away to friends via a handy sign up form (Love you, Google Docs.) in exchange for donations to Bubba's AIDS LifeCycle event, selling them during our spring neighborhood garage sale and using them in trade for eggs and lemons from our neighbors and beekeeping EMERGENCY assistance.
As it turns out, vegetable seedlings are a valuable trade commodity.
DID YOU ALL KNOW THIS AND WEREN'T TELLING ME ON PURPOSE?
That is rude, people. I thought we were friends.
Anyway, I have a lot of tomato (and pepper, cucumber and basil) seedlings now, including some grown from the seeds I saved last year (Score one for the Finny the Full Circle Gardener) from the Pink Brandywine tomatoes and tomatillos, so I'm looking forward to a big bustling planting session in a few weeks.
Once I manage to tame and turn under the massively, oppressively, frighteningly enormous fava beans.
And I know you all are going to test your soil before planting this year, too, right?
Don't make me fucking flog you people because I will totally do it.
Or, I'll just adequately prepare you to test your soil by saying that what you need to do this is the following:
- Get a soil test kit from either the internets or your local hardware store. OSH carries them, if you're close to an OSH.
- Get a big old clear jar that will hold 6+ cups of water and dirt
- Gather up your trowel, a notebook, a pencil (like in the olden days!), maybe a calculator and some patience
- Get some Organic Dried blood, Organic Bone Meal and Wood ash and/or E.B. Stone Sure Start mix so that you can amend your soil after you've tested it.
So just do it, peckerhead.
And then I'll send out the garden bat signal in a few weeks (it'll look shockingly like a blog post) that it's time to test and amend so that we can all get ready to rumble, gardening wise anyway.
Sound good? Thought so.