Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grow Baby, Grow!

Back in January, I started two flats of seeds consisting of chiles, tomatoes and some flowers.  In total, I planted 144 seeds.  While my expectations were low (because of the age of the seeds), I was hoping that more than four would germinate.  Of the 144 seeds, only one chile, two tomatoes and one canna sprouted.  I waited for quite some time to make sure I wasn't rushing them before conceding failure.  Initially, I thought we'd just purchase some seedlings once the farmers' market opened in April.  But then the familial stubborn streak kicked in and I was determined to have seedlings from seeds I started.

We love  us some green beans!
Tug and I went on a seed-shopping spree and came home with seeds for three varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, mixed winter squash, cucumbers, fennel, sweet bell peppers and black-eyed peas and I still had some chile, tomatillo, cippolini onion and green bean seeds that weren't quite so old.  Within days, I could see small green shoots coming up.  I get so excited to see seeds sprout!  The growth that can occur in just a 12-hour period is amazing.  While a large portion of the seedlings will end up growing in containers on our deck, Tug is also planning a raised bed garden for me - surrounded by six-foot deer fencing, of course.  Call me selfish, but I don't want to share my hard work with the deer.

Black bean vines cohabitating with the avocado tree.
In addition to all of those seeds, I also decided to utilize some space in the large pot my avocado tree is in.  (I'll try to grow anything and once in awhile I'm successful.)  Circling the pot are little shoots of black beans  They're trellised on kitchen twine that's hanging from the tree's branches.  This isn't the first time I've tossed seeds in to share space with the avocado.  Last year I found an ancient packet of lavender seeds that I couldn't bring myself to throw away - despite the fact that lavender is incredibly difficult to start from seed even when fresh.  Oddly enough, I managed to get one little lavender plant out of the packet of stale seeds.  I felt like a proud parent!

My lavender baby.
I still have seeds left to plant, but they will wait until later in the spring to be sown directly into the soil.  There will probably be some spring lettuces and perhaps some peas.  We frequently use parsley and cilantro and I want to have lots and lots of basil to make pesto.

What else am I going to do/make with what we grow?  That will have to unfold as we go, but I may end up learning to use that pressure canner after all.


  1. I just love those black beans alongside your avocado tree. That sounds just perfect for a NYC apartment where you're trying to maximize every inch of space. I'll have to try something like that.

    1. It's going to be interesting to see how productive they are. I'll post periodic progress reports!


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