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Getting Ready to Plant

February 9, 2009

Recently I went to our nearest gardening/ home improvement store and loaded up on seeds to start our first vegetable garden. This month is apparently ‘the’ month to start all spring and summer vegetables. We have to build a raised-bed garden, as most of the soil here is ‘gumbo’- a hard, clumpy mess that doesn’t seem to support much of any kind of life. We will have to haul in a bit of dirt, and fortunately we have a compost bin full of compost ready to go. If all goes well, we will have tomatoes, beans, habanero peppers, bell peppers, carrots, beets and peas. I also have basil, cilantro, chives and parsley to go along with it all. I tried growing these herbs last summer in pots, but apparently I kill potted plants and do much better with things in the ground.

About two weeks ago I planted a cornucopia of flower seeds in our existing flower beds: foxglove, poppies, blue and purple morning glories, blue bonnets (our state flower), mixed giant zinnias and mixed verbena. The morning glories have already sprouted and appear to be doing quite well. The verbena is right behind with tiny sprouts. I cheated with a few six-packs of raniculas and delfiniums. I had a few asparagus ferns and gardenia bushes from last spring’s planting, too.  Amazingly, my yellow jasmine is alive and kicking with blooms, despite a full winter’s neglect. Now lets see how things fair after a few weeks of 90+ degree weather.

I hope to have success with the tomatoes, mostly for canning purposes. I’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing a pressure canner, but I’m reluctant to spring for it until I have an idea of how the veggies do this year. So wish me luck in planting.

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