Sunday, April 26, 2009

Take that frost date

I have been making the effort to grow most everything by seeds since it’s cheaper and my husband and I enjoy pretending we are old Depression era souls. Growing by seed is a labor intensive and not so labor intensive process all at the same time because sometimes you’ve got seeds like peas and mustard and beans which means you just chuck them in the ground when it’s warm enough and it’s like, poof! there’ s a plant. Other seeds, I think I’ve learned it’s better to start ahead because you want the delicious faster and sometimes those plants need to be big and strong when they are put out in the garden to combat the toils of Memphis’s crazed weather. It’s like Mother Nature is on crack here and you just can’t predict what she’ll do next. So some of your babies are delicate and need the abuse of a personal gardener such as yourself before MN (and the monster bugs) can get a whack at them.

Most of the time I can be super dumb and decide to seed start early indoors because I NEED to see something potentially delicious growing during the chill of winter and the dream of home grown food can sustain me whilst I stroke my deer foot fern like the cat of a crazed evil doer commonly depicted in movies. (I have heard that ferns are edible, esp their fiddleheads, but I still have yet to go there. If I started eating the ones I have there would be no ferns left. Do you any idea how long some ferns take to grow?!? If only that cinnamon fern tasted like cinnamon and if that Japanese painted lady tasted like…. Just kidding).

Luckily once the season gets warm enough and I have decided that M.N. isn’t looking, I tend to plant in say….. the warmest day in February (that was one beautiful 80 degree Fahrenheit day by the way this year) only to find out (because I am the best gardener ever) that it was going to rain, potentially hail and freeze over several times over the next day. I decided that the seeds, screw it, they’re cheap, if they live, they live, if they don’t, I just notched more points on the experience-o-meter. Not only did some live (even the tender nasturtiums!) through the freezes through my covering up efforts, I got peas and some veggies in late March! Booyashaka to you naysayers, you, “doom to all who plant before April 15thers!” I grew the delicious! It’s done and will proceed with regular programming!

Already, April 23, my bean plants are sprouting their tender necks above the soil rim, my strawberries are showing the beginnings of green berries and the asparagus, it’s been producing and I’ve been whacking it. That sounded wrong, but hey, life is good and growing.

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