3.02.2007

The Healthiest Way to Gamble

"One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a packet of gardening seeds."
Seed shopping is one of those simple pleasures in my gardening life that I look forward to in the late winter. I used to painstakingly go through about ten seed catalogs and ponder over types of carrots, colors of beans, and size of marigolds. Now I am more hands on. I like to go to the store and hold the seed packets, read the information, and sort and organize garden plots in my mind as I select varieties of seeds. The sign above has been a fixture in our house since we began gardening together. JEJ tends the vegetables and I am the flower farmer. This usually keeps peace in the family.
One gamble is when to put in the seeds. The seed packet info can be a bit confusing, especially when we have a twenty degree span of temperature and three types of precipitation on a given spring day. I just know that spinach and peas can go in early so we start out being safe with those seeds.
Also, there is the bird factor gamble. I'll go out and peer into the dirt looking for a sprout, but can't figure out if the birds ate the seeds or if it's too early for germination. Both of us usually end up putting in more seeds when this happens. That has it drawbacks. One year bachelor buttons came up slow, but were in every raised bed. Another time both the first and second batches of zucchini plants came up. I think we still have canned relish on the shelf from that bumper crop.
Another gamble is the pets in the garden. I am always surprised that Annie doesn't have sunflower seedlings growing between her toes after one of her garden digging sessions. It never fails with Shelby and her timing. The first day seedlings peak up in the bed of zinnias Shelby decides to herd all the cats to the flower beds.
The last gamble is labeling. I put colored sticks imprinted with black Sharpie words. JEJ puts the seed packets somewhere near the vegetable rows. All it takes is a wind, two dogs, or a heavy-footed wife to move, remove, or bury a marker for a plant. Last year we had a mystery plant. The label was long gone. First JEJ thought is was a type of squash. I was concerned it was some new, weird weed. After weeks of investigating and waiting, we discovered is was a cantaloupe plant that had come from seeds in the compost pile. Thank goodness it was a healthy gamble.
All the plants come up eventually. Some sprout up in different places. A giant sunflower may end up in the front of the bed. There may be marigolds mixed with asters, but it all works. It really is the healthiest way to gamble.

3 comments :

  1. One of the things I enjoy most about your blog is the calming quality you have created with the colors, font and pictures. I visit some blogs, and they are chaotic, angry and confusing, but yours is peaceful. Well done, sis. Ah yes, on my to do list...order seeds.

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  2. Thank you. I had the same feedback from Tracy. How did I live without a digital camera? How did I live without blogging? :)

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  3. Hate to butt in here, sissy, but, uhhh, silver valley girl has never called MY blog calming...I'm freaking...does she find it angry? chaotic? Is my Georgia font confusing? What does she think? Yikes!!

    "Hey, Deke! Where'd we put the Paxil?!"

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