I'm waiting anxiously for my safe-to-plant-in-the-ground date and wondering if there's something I'm supposed to be doing out there that I haven't been doing. My outdoor preparations have involved a lot of staring and trying to decide if things are weeds or plants, which I think I'm getting a little better at.
Indoors, I've planted seeds and I must admit I was a little surprised when they actually sprouted. It was like a small miracle on my back porch - tomatoes and cucumbers rising up into the world. I tend to them by talking to them softly and checking to see if the soil is light brown, which would mean it is time for me to add water to the tray.
I was surprised at how miniscule the foxglove seeds were and indeed, the foxglove sprouts are thin and wispy little things, almost invisible. The cucumbers, on the other hand, look strong and tenacious.
Outdoors, we've had two frosts since things have begun to sprout and grow. Both times, I covered my beds and that seemed to keep everything safe. There was one crinkly looking leaf on my butterfly bush, but a lot of new growth has sprouted since then, so she's fine.
I've noticed that something has been digging in the flower beds. The holes remind me of the time I planted tulip bulbs one morning and came back that afternoon to find them every one dug up and spirited away. This time, I don't know what the digger was looking for - no harm done, but I don't like the way this is starting out.
It's led me to consider building an ugly wire contraption around my tomatoes. I'd prefer not to do that, but the squirrels and I need to come to some sort of an agreement. I like them just fine and I realize they need to eat like everybody else, but I don't want them to think of me as the proprietress of their very own late-night, all-you-can-eat buffet.
The time is coming to figure it out because last weekend we built the raised vegetable beds. Tracy made some measurements and drew up a plan, but when we got to the store, they didn’t have lumber in the size we needed. We improvised and ended up with larger, squarer beds than we’d imagined, but I think that’s just fine, especially since I’m going to be growing melons.
"Wait," Tracy said as I reached for the first bag. He pulled out his handy calculator and informed me that enough soil to fill our beds would cost roughly $500.
Bags of organic topsoil were noticeably cheaper, so we agreed to do a little research and left without making a purchase. Fortunately, we have plenty of gravel at our construction project next door, so we can put that in the bottom of the beds for drainage, and a gardening neighbor is going to send us some information about soil mixes. We should have them filled by the end of this weekend.