Occasionally, the Colb-ster has some pretty impeccable ideas for the blog. Creativity really isn’t his strong suit so when he comes up with some shear creative brilliance, I usually capitalize on that. In this case, we were discussing our gardening projects and suggested that I do a little blog series about our veggie garden throughout the summer and call the series “Garden Hard”, spoofing my latest movie series obsession, Die Hard. Genius…pure genius. Colby gives me an inch of inspiration…then I go and take it a mile…in PhotoShop:
I’ve never been so proud of my PhotoShop skillz in my life! Skillz?! Really?! Why yes, I thought that the Garden Hard “poster” deserved the bad ass version of “skills”. So throughout the summer we will be bring you lots of tips, tricks, and gardening goodies as we seek to tackle our veggie garden and (fingers crossed) not have to buy a single vegetable all summer. That’s the goal.
So let’s GARDEN HARD! Even though it was still about 28 degrees outside a couple weekends ago, it was time to start our seeds…inside…not outside. Here in central Maine, we’re blessed (the sarcastic blessed) with a short growing season. Meaning…we have to start many of our seeds inside. Since this is our fourth time around to the seed starting rodeo, we already had many of our supplies on hand.
I already had a mess of garden trays along with a little green house to store them in for warmth so all we needed was some dirt and seeds…about $40 worth of seeds and dirt. And I know $40 seems like alot in veggie supplies. I have a justifiable argument. I spend that much money at the grocery store on spinach and cucumbers alone…in a month. And we got enough seeds to keep us in cucumbers, peppers, spinach, lettuce, zucchinis, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, and green beans for the whole summer. So…many…veggies. I’m banking on us not being the first ones to die in the zombie apocalypse due to starvation.
One thing that I have learned in planting three veggie gardens so far…you don’t have to start all of your seeds indoors. Check out information for your zone, like when your last frost typically is, and then you can calculate when you need to start each of your seeds by reading the back of the packet. For us, we need to start our peppers early (the hot and sweet varieties) along with the tomatoes (roma, cherry, and beef steak varieties).
This year, we also chose to start our cucumbers inside and earlier than what the seed packet told us. We have had HORRIBLE luck with cucumbers in the last three growing seasons. Of all the cucumber seeds we’ve planted directly into the ground, we’ve only harvested about five cucumbers…in three years. So this year we’re starting them early and hoping this will be the year they survive.
The rest of our seeds we’ll start directly in the ground. So we filled each one of the plant trays with dirt, planted each of our seeds according to the directions on the seed packet, covered them with dirt, and generously watered our dear seeds. Then plopped them into a little greenhouse that we picked up from Lowes last year for under $50 (tip…they’re selling them again this year) and zipped them up. Two weeks later…our seeds were sprouting.
The mini greenhouse is great because we can zip it up, keeping the heat in for the fragile seedlings, and also keeping the Goose out. And we can wheel it around the kitchen for optimal sunlight positioning. AND when it comes time to start hardy-ing up the plants (when you leave them outside here and there to adjust to cooler temps than inside) we can just wheel it out on the deck. We love that little greenhouse, especially how it folds right down for storage.
So…how are our plants growing two weeks in? Pretty good…especially the tomatoes which are going gangbusters! I sense alot of salsa eating this summer…and tomato sauce canning.
The hot peppers…not so much.
We’re wondering if maybe we got a bad batch of seeds, or maybe it’s those pod dirt things (we did buy a couple of new trays this year which came with those “just add water” dirt pods…me no likey dirt pods!). But from past experience, it takes forever and a day for the hot peppers to surface. But generally speaking, we’re off to a good garden start.
Pssst…Have you started your garden yet this year? Any fellow Northerners starting their seeds indoors? Or Southerners already planting outside (deja jealous JoAnn…name that quote and we can be besties for life…I’m serious!)?
Pssssssst…So stay tuned for more in the series including “Garden Hard 2″, “Garden Hard With A Vengeance” (which might need to be about how we combat the corn squirrel), “Live Free Or Garden Hard”, and “A Good Day To Garden Hard”. I have a problem.