Monday, March 10, 2014

First Sprouts

It is NOT Spring.  It is NOT Spring.  It is NOT Spring.

That has been my mantra the past few weeks, each time we have a deceptively (though seemingly regularly scheduled) warm, pleasant, Spring-like day.  But I know.  It is NOT Spring.  And we WILL have another freeze.  I know, because we have every year we've lived here.  The first Winter we were told "Never plant your 'maters before Easter," and that has pretty much been dead-on advice every Winter since.  You can't even count on the bulbs and shrubs and trees to know when to bloom; how many pictures do I have of daffodil blossoms poking through the snow?

And I'm not the only one bitten by the Planting Bug.  Michael has been poking at me just about every day for as many weeks as I've been repeating my mantra, to let him have some seeds.  Or seedlings.  Or SOMETHING to PUT IN THE GROUND!

So, to temper my flaming desire to PLANT SOMETHING, I have settled for starting seeds inside.  I let Michael grab a bunch of seed packets at the grocery store, and I grabbed a few myself.  We stopped by ACE Hardware for a bag of potting mix.  We already had paper cups at home.  We popped some soil and seeds into the cups, labeled them with a Sharpie, and popped them into the Magic Window.  And because we didn't have quite enough room in the Magic Window, we used a disused bathroom rack to hold more seed cups in the Magic Window Two (in the LR, facing the same direction).

Today, the first little wee ones appeared.

Can you see them?  Alyssum.  Always quick to please.

Oh, and about the paper cups.  In addition to being handy for a quick seed-planting fix indoors, I had one of those "I might just be able to beat it" moments that led me to use them.  

In California, we had plenty of weeds, which required persistent attention and effort to keep from taking over your garden.

Here in Georgia, weeds grow in a carpet.  Everywhere.  A dozen types of weeds all at once.  In a weed carpet.   Everywhere there is even the saddest, lowest, most pathetic little patch of concrete-hard red Georgia clay, you will find a plethora of weeds gleefully sunning themselves in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity.  Nevermind in a patch of beautiful, lovely, dark, rich, loamy, carefully-tended garden bed soil.  The average suburban gardener doesn't have a chance against The Georgia Weeds.  It is a Darwinian Struggle every year, and most years the weeds win.  And, I'm not the only one.  I've heard this wail of despair from countless heart-broken home gardeners.  It mostly goes like this:

"I can't tell the difference between the seeds I planted coming up, and the weeds coming up.  And the weeds outnumber the seeds about 100 to 1.  How am I supposed to know which little sprouts to rip out, and which ones to lovingly tend to, when I can't tell them apart?"

Thus ... the cups.  My brilliant idea is, once these lovely little seedlings are ready to be planted, I'll cut off the bottom and put the entire cup, seedling and all, into the planter.  As the planter comes to life, anything that is not in a paper cup gets unceremoniously ripped out of the ground.

We'll see how well that works.  I'm pretty sure The Brotherhood of the Horrific and Voracious Weeds of Georgia have already discerned my plan and are working on a counter attack.

More photos of the War of the Weeds to follow ... 

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