Tiny Fingers, Tiny Seeds

     Today was the day.  

     I have had this little ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach for a couple weeks now, knowing that I should be doing something in preparation for our vegetable garden. There are probably a dozen things I could be doing, like buying dirt for the beds next to the house, buying mulch for the shade garden (really should have done that last year!), building a support for the peas/tomatoes/gourds to climb on…

     How about deciding exactly what I’m going to plant and buy the frigging seeds?!

     Sorry about that.  I just mentally slapped myself across the face.  I feel better now.

     Don’t ask me why I haven’t bought all my seeds yet, because I don’t know.  I haven’t decided where I’m going to get them.  Burpee or Baker Creek?  Online or mail-order?  Seeds or plants?  I want to buy a grow light or two and start my tomatoes and peppers, but I haven’t looked into it very much and am starting to feel like time is getting away from me.

     So today Violet and I planted some seeds that I bought at Walmart.  

     I rolled my eyes when I typed that, but I’m not going to get into all the reasons why I am disappointed in myself for buying these seeds at Walmart.  We don’t have time.

     Anyway, the seeds we planted today were peas and spinach.  Technically, I could have just planted these seeds outside in the bed beside my house.  They are plants that can be planted early and do fine in the cold weather we are still having.  But since I am a procrastinator and haven’t bought more dirt for the beds yet, I needed to start the seeds somewhere else.  

     How about milk jugs?

     My mom found this idea online somewhere and I think it’s a great one.  The jugs are supposed to function as mini greenhouses, keeping moisture and heat in and allowing you to grow seeds outside that normally wouldn’t be able to handle the cold.  I can modify these jugs so they don’t get too warm for my cold-loving plants.  But I get ahead of myself.

     First, gather some empty gallon jugs.  Cut about 6 inches from the bottom of the jugs, three-quarters of the way around the jugs.  Also, poke some holes in the bottom of the jugs for drainage.

     I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “jugs” so often before.  Jugs.  I feel like I should be sitting in a place that sells chicken wings.

     Anyway.

     Next we placed a coffee filter in the bottom of each —ahem– jug, so that the dirt doesn’t run out the bottom.

     Start filling them with dirt.  I used Miracle-Gro seed starting mix.  

     By the way, the shirt is from Halloween and it is one of Violet’s favorites.  She also has orange pants with candy corn all over them.  I predict she will be wanting to wear this outfit in July.

     Time for the seeds! We started with peas.  Follow the seed packet’s direction on how deeply to plant the seeds.

     Next up: spinach.  We thought it was interesting how different the seeds looked.  Have you ever seen a spinach seed?  I hadn’t.

     After you’ve planted your seeds, cover them with a little dirt and water them enough to soak the soil and drain out the bottom.  Violet wanted to help me water and I was a little distracted by her and the fact that I was getting soaking-wet in the rain, so we didn’t water them enough at first.  I went back later and finished the job.

     Then flip the “lid” of the jug closed, use a little duct tape to seal the seam and voila!  You have a mini greenhouse for your seeds and fledgling plants.  I may open mine back up again, just because these plants would do well outside of a greenhouse.  Once I get dirt put into my flowerbed  vegetable(?) bed by the house, I will transplant the little plants and let them go crazy.

     What about you?  What have you done to prepare for the growing season?  I love hearing from each and every one of you who comment — you make my day!  

     So, let’s hear it!

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6 responses to “Tiny Fingers, Tiny Seeds

  1. This looks like such a fun project! So far I haven’t engaged our toddler in gardening and planting seeds or even watering already-grown plants. As much as I love home-grown food and have even tried my own tomatoes, green beans and other vegetables, I cannot for the life of me manage to keep them alive! I once spent $27 to grow a tomato plant that yielded one tomato, which my husband said was probably the most expensive tomato we had ever eaten hahaha.

    • That reminds me of a book I read last summer called The $64 Tomato by William Alexander. It was a very interesting book and made me think about how much we can spend just trying to “simply” grow some food in our garden!
      I didn’t know what to expect from her — besides a mess — but Violet did very well. And there wasn’t much mess at all! This is only my second year attempting a garden. I hope to get more done this year, since Vi is a year older.
      Good luck with whatever gardening you attempt! 🙂

  2. Nice jugs.:)
    I could hardly pay attention to your post the 1st time around because Violet was distracting me–sweet little face! I love her outfit:) So I re-read the post, focused, and am impressed. And also jealous that you have the yard space for such grand garden plans. What a great project you did with Violet as well! How long will you keep them in the jugs?
    We only planted a few new flowers and have not even thought about what else we should be doing right about now. Instead, I’ll pretend I’m doing what you’re doing (kind of like being tired after I watch an exercise video while eating cookies on the couch).

    • We have a huge yard. Check it out here.
      I don’t know how long I will keep the plants in the jugs. Probably until my mom says, “Uh, Jen, I think you should take those plants out of the jugs.”

      Yeah, that sounds about right.

  3. I am in the same boat! I want to start a vegetable garden but time just keeps escaping me. I started two milk jugs this past week (broccoli and lettuce) and my seeds just sprouted. I can’t wait to transplant them into raised beds (which I have yet to build). I wish you the best in your milk jug project! Please keep us updated on your progress!

    http://www.talesfromagarden.wordpress.com

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