Garden 2.0 (2012)

What’s most exciting about this year’s garden is starting from scratch, starting to make it ours, and learning as we go.  It was great last year to have inherited a fixer-upper, and to have reaped some extra veggies as a result.  But, this year, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do on our own.

Some of it requires some vision and planning (and charting), but there’s definitely a significant dose of “plant some stuff and see what happens.”  For example, we are keeping these charts of our seedlings, so that we know in which sections we planted them and when:

We bought a seed-starting kit, and if you’re reading this I also recommend saving any tiny plastic containers you can (they’re all great for seed-starting).  I, for one, eat a lot of raspberries and blackberries and we’ve found those plastic containers – which happen to come pre-perforated at the bottom- perfect for starting seeds.

One of the two seed starting kits we used was from Burpee (and a lot of people I’ve spoken to you have used this, with success, as well.)  And we purchased a different, but similar one, at Sprout Home Brooklyn (the best place on earth if you like to garden or just like plants, in general.)

We’ve also learned (quaint and a fun DIY) that you can start your seeds in eggshells and newspaper (though I’ve read about both being less-than-ideal, so we stuck with what we bought at the store and what plastic containers we recycled from home.)

Here’s the rundown of the new plants we are growing from seed or have already sown in the yard.

Sunflower

Black-eyed Susan vine

Nasturtium

Chamomile

Cilantro

Thyme

Chives

Basil

Dill

Onion

Radish

Hot Pepper

Summer Squash

Tomato (Black Krim, Reisentraube, and Brandywine)

Bok Choy

Spinach

Mache-verte D’Etampes (Corn Salad)

Garden Pea

Rosemary

And, though I’ll write more about our process for growing seeds indoors later, here is what some of our baby plants look like after having been transplated from the seed starting kit to larger containers – but before being transplanted to the beds outside.

We’ve also seen reappearances of three different kinds of mint and our lavender!  It’s an herb-heavy garden, and I’m hoping to get (maybe) some Kale in there, at least, and some strawberries in a window box.  The other secret dream is a berry bush – but having failed at cultivating a blueberry bush in high school, I know how tricky those can be.

We also have two seed mixes that we plan to strategically place in the yard.  First, there’s a wildflower shade mix that I’ve already spread around the back perimeter of the yard (where it’s mostly shady all summer on account of the cherry tree & wisteria – and thus normally a mud pit).  Second, and my favorite, are two vials of “Colorado Wild Flowers” that were gifts to all of the wedding guests at a wedding we attended near Aspen this fall.  These were gorgeous but, I recall, sun-loving, so we are going to try to grown them in pots – which will hopefully appear haphazard, rustic, and charming 🙂

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