Sunday, March 27, 2011


Spring is here and I am settled into my new place. This makes it the perfect time to get back to my garden. Three weeks ago I returned to the Xotx-Tropico nursery to pick up some additional supplies. Now, I know I said I would not be returning here after my first trip last year, but I was in the area and decided to give it another try ( here is the link to the post from my first visit Nothing has changed. The same eccentric man greeted me at the door and followed me around making himself available for any questions. I asked for seed trays, of which he had none. He then told me he had a seed tray container he would give me (i'm pretty sure that's the same thing i asked for). I also didn't know if he meant for free or whether he was going to charge me. He took me to where it was. It was definitely used. I really just wanted to take it and leave, but it was unclear whether he was giving it to me or if i had to pay for it. Either way, I now felt compelled to buy something so I asked for potting soil. He pointed to a half used sack of potting soil which again he said I could have. Hmm. I told him I needed a whole sack, he didn't have any. I was puzzled. He remembered he had another half used bag and suggested I combine the two to make one full bag he would charge me for. Ok I thought, this is weird, I usually don't go to the grocery store and buy two half boxes of spaghetti, but I decided to just go with it. I then asked him about seeds. Once again, he said he didn't have many as he was expecting a shipment the following week (sounds familiar). There were maybe 10 total packets available, none of which I was interested in purchasing so I paid for my two half bags of potting soil and a used seed tray and got out of there. The whole experience was strange and although the guy is very nice I will definitely not be going back there (I mean it this time)

At home I laid out my purchases and dug out my old seeds in preparation to start sowing them. I am taking a different approach this time by using the seed trays. Instead of planting the seeds directly into the larger containers, my plan is to use fewer seeds in the seed trays and then transfer them to larger containers once the seedlings are sturdy enough to survive fluctuations in weather and general stress from the elements (or unsuspecting attacks from a sneaky shiba inu). As you can see from the pictures, She-ra is very curious and immediately is drawn to what i'm doing and makes sure to inspect everything:

While prepping to start sowing the seeds I came across an old potting soil bag filled with an assortment of gardening supplies. Among the items in the bag were a variety of containers in various sizes. My plan is to use the small containers and the seed tray for most of the seeds except for the squash. As I learned last time, the squash did pretty well being sown directly into larger containers. I will therefore be using the large black containers to plant the squash seeds.

Additionally, there is a small plant that was left behind that is now beyond the point of being saved. I removed the dead plant, soil and all, and replaced with some fresh soil and several basil seeds.

In addition to sowing squash and basil seeds, I also planted onion, spinach, swiss chard, aster, banana pepper, oregano and sweet william (flower mix) seeds. I used a sharpie to write out which type of seed is in each of the seed cells.

This was all done approximately three weeks ago. Since then, we've had a large amount of rain which was a bit worrisome as the containers and the soil were soaked continuously. During some of the heavier downpour I protected the seeds by shielding them from direct rain. Today is the first day in a few weeks where the sun shone the majority of the day. The rest of the week looks just as promising. The weather is expected to reach into the 80s by Thursday. As of now, a few of the seedlings have begun to sprout and I expect that the sustained sun and warmer temperatures will result in an explosion of sprouting in the coming days.