Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Cheated

For those of you who thought this was a post about how I had some torrid affair with some young, hot piece on the side, shame on you! Just kidding. Sorry to disappoint.

Yes, I cheated. I bought nursery starts. There is nothing wrong with it. Do you hear me rationalizing this? I think I deserve it after starting my own seeds these last 3 years and caring for them ever so lovingly for weeks on end. Or at least until "the soil temperature has warmed to 50F" as those seed packets tell me (those dictators!). Actually, there's nothing wrong with using nursery started plants. It doesn't make you less of a gardener. The reason you should buy nursery starts is because these are cold weather crops so they need to go in now and you had to have started them 8 weeks ago already.

Okay, how cute is my dog Basil?! I know you're all envious and want a dog named after an herb who licks and poses for his mommy while she's acting like a crazy person at the garden nursery.
He's guarding my kale, brussel sprouts, parsley, cabbage, escarole, celery and broccoli. He even tasted the celery and gives his approval for my choice of lover.

Close up of the broccoli seedlings. See how the roots have wrapped around. That's what is known as being "root bound". The roots are literally bound up which can be a real problem if they were really dense. This is nothing compared to say a Mum you might have bought one year as a drive by gift when you had to go to dinner at someone's house. Do you recall that it dried up and died right away? That's because it's root bound and can't soak up any water you give it. The solution is to cut away at the roots. I didn't have to do that here since the roots are very tender and will easily make it's way through and acclimate to my soil.

Close up of the Kale. I have never grown or eaten Kale before, but I often see it on Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals. I like the sound of the word "Kale". Kaaaaaaaaale. I think I like the way it's going to cook down and make hearty meals. The word even sounds hearty when you say it. Kale is also full of vitamins.

From front to back, I planted Kale with 2 rows of sugar snap peas. I will trellis them as soon as they begin to germinate. In the center bed, I planted the broccoli and celery in a "yin yang" pattern just to change it up. In the very back bed, I planted escarole. This weekend, I will plant more peas and sow some carrots. I am thinking of planting the cabbage and brussel sprouts in the back of the yard since they need a lot of room.

Close up of the broccoli. I am going to plant some 'bright lights' chard in between the broccoli. As the broccoli matures, the kale will fill in. When the broccoli is read to harvest, I will replace them with the eggplant plants. In the back corner, I will plant some pole beans and zinnias. I left room along the front edge of the bed to plant nasturtiums, bush basil and marigolds.

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