Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicago: Spring has officially begun!

Welcome back to the garden! I have to admit that although this is the first post of the season (for me), I have actually been a busy bee in preparing for my garden this year. Planning the garden started a couple weeks ago when I was in Seattle visiting the sister. When we get together we always have to get excited about some project or other and as spring was beginning to arrive in her neck of the woods we began to get excited about our gardens. Unfortunately excitement only takes you so far because landing in Chicago to a brisk 30 degrees put a damper on things on my end. But as I am very clever and was a little bit jealous that Dina got to start and I didn't, I figured that this year I would start my garden early...indoors!

I can't completely take credit for the jump start on the season though because it was my dear friend, Kim who gave me a little Italian garden kit as a gift for defending my thesis. It included 3 herb pots and 2 transplant pots for basil, oregano, parsley, Roma tomatoes, and red bell peppers. How delightful! Seeing these wonderful transplant pots that allow you to plant your seeds indoors and then transplant them directly into your containers when the weather turns warm was ingenious and inspired me to start all my seeds indoors this year. It is really a win-win situation because I get a jump start on the season and I end up spending less money because buying the transplants at the store is much more expensive than buying seeds.

I used a Burpee germination kit to start out my seeds. The list is extensive this year: eggplant, large slicer tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, zucchini, red bell peppers, serrano peppers, and poblano peppers. It is so exciting to have the little sprouts start popping up. I also have plans for cilantro and string beans but those can be started directly in the containers outside when the time is right. I was a little worried about starting my pepper seeds because peppers won't germinate unless it is 70-80 degrees. In order to get them started, I went old school and pulled out a trick I learned in kindergarten- starting seeds in Ziploc bags. I just got a damp rag, placed it in a Ziploc bag, put a few seeds inside, and presto! the perfect environment for starting pepper seeds. To help them out even more, I stuck them in the laundry room so they could be warmed when the dryer runs.

Luckily the weather is finally turning! This weekend was beautiful, sunny, and warm. I finally got to get out some of the containers and plant my lettuce (a special heat wave mix that lasts longer in the hot weather), baby spinach, and carrots. I even did some recycling by turning a metal container into a planter! I got this funny metal container in one of those food gift baskets from one of Joe's aunts. I kept the base because I felt like I could re-purpose it somehow. Joe pulled it out of the closet and I realized that it would be perfect for a lettuce planter. I also got this amazing ?tree?-plant for indoor decor. It is so cool with the chunky trunk and spiraling leaves. I love it.

Unrelated to gardening- I did a little craft project today. Joe has been wanting some storage for our tv remotes. He first got the idea from my parents who own this great fabric remote holder that hangs over the arm of a chair or sofa and tucks under the cushion to hold it in place. We were looking around Ikea for something similar when I realized that I could make it! We just went over to Joann Fabrics, found a pretty, coordinating fabric and an afternoon of work later- a great way to store the remotes close at hand!

Well, spring is finally in the air! Stay tuned for updates on how my sprout get going. I can't wait to see what Dina's garden is looking like...

1 comment:

  1. Yey!I enjoyed getting our deck in order. In only a few weeks can we sit out on the deck, admire our vegetables, and eat them!

    The TV remote case is awesome. It fulfills my every need for ultimate laziness.