Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's time for a 2016 garden post! (And a birthday celebration!)

See these? 

They're pretty recognizable – the cardboard center to a roll of tissue. 

I've been saving these throughout the year, just in time to start the garden.

And even better yet– this year we had an expanded gardening group. About a dozen of us got together and started a seed starter club, where we all chose a few plants and started them from seeds. 

Here are the cukes I started, 

and although everything seemed to be really slow in developing, they eventually started reaching for the sun. 

As they grew a little stronger, I brought them outside for a few hours a day, to acclimate them.

When the time came to meet and swap plants, we had so many, they took up most of the woodshop! 

Everyone's efforts were varied and mostly successful, and everything was labeled so we could tell what we were getting. 

There were literally hundreds of plants everywhere!

I finally bought some home, but the weather was still a bit cold at night to plant them in the ground. So I acclimated them by bringing them out during the day, to catch some sun. 

Finally, I planted a few, although I was a little worried that it might be too early, and the cool night air might shock them. So I created a little greenhouse for them, by planting them under a plastic tent. This works wonders for keeping them warm and moist. 

And finally - the weather broke and everything went into the soil. The raised bed included a beet garden (planted from seeds) and about 30 plants. It sure doesn't look like much when everything first goes into it. 

A few weeks later - BAM!

The walkway gets full sunshine, so I planted some things that demand that.

The walkway in the yard started out sparse, but in just a few weeks, it went from this - 

to this! 

The plants have quadrupled in size! 

The nectarine tree was in full bloom, and there are hundreds of little fruit on it, about the size of a walnut.  It's going to be a great year for that tree!

Who loves brussel sprouts? They started out small, 

but have grown crazy-big. 

The radishes are popping up and out of the soil!

Speaking of growing - it's hard to believe, but Stella is 12 today!

She's my pal and gardening nemesis - but my home wouldn't be the same without her! I hope your spring is as rich and vibrant as ours is! 

My best advice for the day? ... take some time to play with your dog!

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