Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning to sow

I have never had my own vegetable garden. I used to pull weeds in my grandmother's garden, and she said I had great "transplanting fingers", but this is the first time in my life (since moving out on my own) that I have had a yard in which to plant a garden. I had a lot of misconceptions of how to start a garden. I thought it was simple, hack at the ground until there is only dirt, sprinkle some seeds, then Boom! Presto! instant garden. Not so. Not even close to so, in fact it was more like SOW. What does it meant to sow? Well, according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary to sow is to "put seeds in the ground so that plants will grow".  If you look closely at that phrase you will draw one obvious and somewhat daunting conclusion. There is a way (many ways actually) to put seeds in the ground so they will NOT grow. Luckily, my husband has two thumbs and both of them are green so he promised to walk me through everything step by step. First we hacked at the ground which gave me the satisfaction of getting the first step right all on my own, and also the exhilaration of using a mattock. Swinging a mattock makes me feel like some sort of warrior woman. I hacked with a frenzy; dirt flying, sweat dripping, and strange grunting noises uncovered the area which we now call our garden.

The next step was to plant our seeds....but not in the garden...not yet anyway. Most of our veggies needed to be started indoors. We used store bought kits as well as a few empty egg cartons we had saved for this purpose.

Once we were sure there was no more chance of frost we re-tilled the garden adding copious amounts of dirt, coconut shavings, and fertilizer. Then Shannon dug little rows for good air circulation, drainage, easy weeding and easy harvesting. We have a large number of peppers this year which apparently thrive in raised rows, but they are not necessary for all vegetables. Our rows run North/South so as to take full advantage of the morning and afternoon sun.

When we transplanted our veggies the peppers were still pretty small so they needed some support. Shannon used wooden skewers which worked perfectly!

I will be sure to post an update once things really get growing out there!

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