Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chicago- Day 1: Beginnings

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5b
Last Spring Frost: 04-20
First Fall Frost: 10-24
Length of growing season: 187 days

Today was the day. The first day of my new container garden. Though it is a brisk 46 degrees outside and a good 2.5 weeks before the last frost date, I began what will soon be a glorious vegetable and herb garden right on my porch! Today's agenda: radishes, carrots, leaf lettuce, and baby spinach. As prodigiously planned, I grabbed my brand new trowel and opened up my first bag of potting soil. It took me a while to fill up the long containers for my early spring vegetables, but maybe that's because my trowel was so small. Is there supposed to be a faster way to fill up all these pots? I proceeded to spill a bit of soil and get my sweatshirt dirty, but hey, that's what gardening is about, right?

I'm not going to lie- it was pretty exciting to stand out on the porch and admire my handiwork: two boxes full of dirt. All that was left was to plant the seeds. I mixed my radish and carrot seeds just as Rose and Maggie told me in "The Bountiful Container" so that my radishes will loosen the soil for the carrots that come out later this spring. I dump them in? All of them? Some of them? Ah, what the hell, I'll dump them all. Who knows how many seedlings I'm going to have popping up out here but at least I'm guaranteed a whole lot of veggies, right? So I dumped them all in, covered them up, and gave them a nice watering. This might be a disaster. I'll just thin the seedlings out once they pop up. This is a learning experience after all.

Great. Done. HOW EXCITING! I just planted some seeds! Sure it only took about 20 minutes, with a couple of those minutes spent chasing after the paper seed packet that blew off the porch after I emptied it, but still, exciting nonetheless. My first radish seedlings should show up in 4-6 days and my lettuce and spinach should pop up in a week.

This is the life!

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