Thursday, March 5, 2009

Potting Trees and Starting Seeds

Week of February 23 through March 1

This week marked the (meager) beginning of our garden. We have been talking about planting a garden since we moved into our house. Unfortunately, it was already too late in the year for any plantings when we moved in last April. Happily, that has given us plenty of time to work on other parts of the house (to be seen in later postings!) and allowed us to really scrutinize the light and drainage patterns in our yard over the last year. It also gave us lots of time to study the different plant varieties - which led us to a huge list of plants we want to grow, that we will never have enough room for in our yard! Now, we feel like we have a great plan for our garden and we are really excited to put it in!

We began our pursuit of the perfect garden back in January by purchasing a lemon tree, a lime tree and an avocado tree. Since then, the trees have been in their original pots on our patio, waiting patiently for the final frost of the year so that they could be transplanted into more permanent homes. The weather over the last few weeks has been completely bipolar. At times it has been in the 80s during the day, only to drop into the 30s at night. We have loyally shuttled the trees indoors when there was the threat of a freeze so that they were warm and cozy at night. Coupled with the 80 degree days, their cozy nights have tricked our trees into putting out blooms already.

Since these are first year trees, they will need to put all of their energy into growing big strong roots and limbs. Sadly, that means no fruit for us this year. A few weekends ago, we had to pull all of the blooms and buds off of the trees to force them to focus on growing up and out. The little blooms were really pretty - and they actually tasted like lemons! (True story, we tried them.)

This weekend we were finally able to transplant our trees into larger, permanent pots. We chose lightweight, terracotta-look pots so that we will be able to move them more easily should the need arise. We also used citrus soil specifically formulated for growing citrus trees in pots. Something about drainage and nutrient content - The Husband knows about that.

We also started the seeds for our herb garden. We decided to start with seeds, rather than nursery plants because the seeds allowed us to pick the specific variety we wanted. I planted six starters each of oregano, chives, basil and rosemary in a purchased windowsill seed starter greenhouse kit. I've never used peat pellets before and I was amazed by how big they "grow" just by adding water! We should have sprouts by next week!

Around Our House Next Week: Dressmaking, Truck Repair, and maybe some Closet Shelf Installation

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