April 8, 2011

My Gardening Ambitions Continue...

I have become pretty much obsessed with growing things from seeds. Not that I've really ever done it successfully, mind you, I just have this inexplicable obsession. Maybe it's the beautiful artwork on the front of the seed packages, making it seem like a snap to grow incredible tomatoes, peas and cucumbers, or maybe it's all the flowering trees that have sprung to life in the last few weeks. Whatever it is, I am not fighting it, I am just going with it! The wonderful husband has offered to build me two 4'x8' raised garden beds, and I have lost no time planning the beds, ordering and starting the seeds for my grand plans. I say grand because I think I will have patchy success. Partially because I don't really know what I'm doing and partially because it can get real hot down south... which some little planties do not like so much...

Here are my plans!

For the past few weeks, I've been attempting to start several plants in pots on the patio. The most successful so far are sugar snap peas and fava beans. You soak the seeds in water for 12-24 hours and then you plant them in moist soil. Check them out!!! I'm quite proud! I have also attempted San Marzano roma tomatoes and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, and they are not quite as robust... One problem I'm having is rabbits. Specifically, rabbits have continually come up onto the patio and eaten every cotton picking leaf off the two chili pepper plants I have- a chilaca and a serrano. What was especially infuriating is that the chilaca had one little chili pepper on it that was growing and the rabbits bit it off and then left it on the ground! The nerve! Now I have both chili pepper plants on the patio table, so the rabbits can't reach them. But it really is so annoying to be sitting at the kitchen table and see two very good sized rabbits just cruising the yard, like they own the place. Anyhow, in their nefarious activities, they broke off the top of my Cherokee Purple seedling, and I don't think it's going to survive. Back to the drawing board... germinating some more seeds.

I am also attempting raspberry and blackberry plants. I bought them at Lowe's, they aren't technically 'plants' yet, but what I think is referred to as rootstock. Anyhow, they were only $4.98 each, so I won't feel so bad when I potentially kill them? I feel worse when they are $15 and that happens. Anyhow, you unwrap the roots of the single cane, the top has about a 1' cane that has been cut, and you soak the roots in water while you prepare the hole. I'm growing both of these in containers. There's no new growth yet, but I am hopeful. I have been doing a little research on raspberry and blackberry brambles- they are technically a 'bramble,' and I'm not sure even if they do grow (I love how the bag says 'guaranteed to grow!' whatever) that they will produce fruit this year. Although, I think it's possible since most of the south has two growing seasons... we shall see!

I am also attempting to grow sweet peas (a flowering vine) and moonflowers (also a flowering vine). My ambition is to have one or two growing up around the mailbox and possible on one or two columns near the patio. I realize that you probably can't read the plans very well. They include an additional tomato variety, small yellow pear shaped cherry tomatoes, carrots of multiple colors, watermelon, butternut squash and chives... ooh and also a sweet bell pepper variety that is orange. Check out the website where I get my seeds and you may also be bitten with the gardening bug...


Happy gardening! Watch out for nefarious rabbits!

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