Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Road That They Walk On

About a week ago, seed potatoes from Seeds of Change arrived, so we were waiting for a sunny weekend day and today was one!

It was one of those breathtaking early spring mornings as we drove out to Lowe's for vermiculite and organic garden soil. A light muddy smell on the breeze along the river reminded us of the recent rains. The ground hasn't dried out yet and probably won't until later this week. It's warm enough now for the doors and windows at home to stand open, but as car speeds, the air still feels cold. Perhaps a couple of weeks ago, the doors to the garden center were chained shut, but today, they were thrown open and rows of flowering pink and purple geraniums lined the sidewalk. The hard winter is over. For a moment, I stood in the parking lot and let my heart sing. Then I got over myself and we got a cart. The cart proved too small for four bags of organic garden soil so we commandeered a giant hand truck, and not a moment too soon: those bigass bags were really heavy.

The square foot gardeners on the Yahoo list went on at length about how hard to get vermiculite can be, so I was both surprised to find only three bags on the shelf and looked both ways before I grabbed two. We are trying to eliminate the front lawn so we spent about half an hour looking over the perennials and small shrubs, but we we're not ready to buy.

At home, everything came together rapidly: Pete opened a bag of soil, shoveled in an almost equal amount of compost, tossed in about half a bag of vermiculite, mixed and suddenly we were ready to retrieve the seed potatoes from their cool, dry storage place. Pete shoveled about six inches of dirt into the first potato bag, I placed Yukon Gold seed potatoes at even distances from one another and Pete topped off the bag with another few inches. In the second, we planted blue potato seeds. We had so many leftover seeds we decided to plant more of each into the half-barrels, which are inches from falling apart. At the end of this process, we still had more seed potatoes than we knew what to do with. We will share them with my sisters most likely, but we will certainly share them with someone.

With all these potatoes going into the ground, you'll be pleased to hear the first thing that shot up a couple weeks back was the pot of chives. It was a great sight a few weeks back when the weather was so miserable everyone just wanted to kill themselves with demitasse spoons. About half of the seeds planted two weeks ago germinated; today, I got a few of them into containers we will leave in the little plastic greenhouse for another couple of weeks as I continue to take the tender little ones from the sprouting medium to the containers. We are concentrating on lettuces and herbs. Today, I transplanted four kinds of lettuce.

This afternoon, we also took a really fast seven-mile bike ride to test out our bikes and tomorrow, I start riding to work. It has seemed like it took forever to warm up enough for me to get out of the car and onto the bike, and I am thrilled the time has come. Ooh! What am I going to wear?

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Blogger DBK said...

Chives! I love chive flowers, which are cute, purple pom-poms. Also, you can't kill chives, so here's what you do: over the winter, if the pot will survive it, leave it outside. Just cut all the dried stalks off when the thing finally chills out for the cold season. In the spring, ignore the chive pot. Don't even look at it. If you hear it say something, pretend not to notice. After the ground has warmed a little and there have been a couple of rains, look at the pot. The chives should be back and growing happily.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous tata said...

That's exactly what happened!

How did you guess?

3:41 PM  
Blogger DBK said...

I've grown chives before. You grow chives once, you grow them forever.

12:16 PM  

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