Sunday, April 12, 2015

Growin' up and movin' out

No I'm not talking about my kids, although they are hedging their way to the door way too quickly for my taste but that's a completely different story and I digress :)

What I'm really talking about are my little seedlings.They've been sitting under grow lights for weeks now and I did my best to keep them watered and warm with the right temperatures thanks to the grow mats. But now it's time they head outdoors.

As a newbie veggie gardener I try to read as much as I can, talk to as many experienced gardeners as I can and let nature do the rest. (while I keep my fingers crossed of course!)

But now, as we head into warmer temps it's time to move them from their protected little world under the sunlamps to the harsh realities of hardening off outside.

And before you think me a heartless gardener, wait! Check out their new digs.

I bought this mini greenhouse from my local houseware store. For $20 bucks I think it was well worth the investment especially since, here in Oklahoma our temps are all over the place right now. One minute they're in the 80's during the day and then a storm front blows in with 50 mph winds and temps quickly drop to the 40's. Yep! That's Oklahoma for ya!

As you can see, they're happy little veggies, all thriving and branching out. Soon it will be time to move them up to bigger pots as I wait for the ground temps to reach above 50.

Now let me tell ya, I'm not a bettin' woman but..something tells me that although our days are unusually warm lately with temps hovering right around 80, I get this niggling feeling in the pit of my stomach that good old Mother Nature has one more cold front for us, so I'll be keeping my veggies in pots until I'm fully convinced we're having an early summer instead of a late snowstorm. And if you think I'm kidding, I'm not. Two years ago we had snow in May! Eek!

In the meantime, now that my first seedlings have been transferred to larger pots outside into the greenhouse, I've started my next batch of seeds. These are the ones like carrots and radishes that don't have as long of maturity dates as do the zucchinin's and beans.

Now I will say that being a brand new veggie gardener, this whole timing thing is rather overwhelming. “When do I plant the tomatoes, what about the sunflowers, is it too early for the carrots and what about those marigolds and did I actually leave enough space in the garden to plant these things?

I tell ya, it's all so confusing trying to figure out who's on first and what's on second as Abbott and Costello used to say. So it's slow progress. But I will say it's all worth it.

Just to see seeds sprout, watch their initial leaves turn into sets of two and three and then branch out to a degree that you need to transplant them into bigger pots, it's all so exciting!

And as I recently found out, nothing is more relaxing when you're sicker than a dog for a solid month with a chest cold, than spending time transplanting your seedlings into larger pots while watching gardening shows on YouTube.

So while it's slow progress at the moment, my gut tells me that any minute, when Mother Nature stops throwing temper tantrums with our weather, my veggies are going to explode!

Here's to warm weather and great gardening days to you and yours,


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