My vegetable garden is now in business. I was off to a pretty rough start this year….

I ordered a TON of seeds with the help of Marquette’s 100 Yarden Dash and Transition Marquette. I paid $5 for a share of seeds and got over 80 different kinds of them! Yes, all for $5. It works by having a bunch of people pitch in the five bucks and pick out a seed packet. Once 100 people picked out the seeds that they wanted to see in the share, the seeds were then split into 100 shares. So, if a seed packet only has 100 seeds in it, each person gets one seed. And if a packet has 80,000 seeds in it, each person gets 800 seeds, etc. It is pretty amazing and I saved a bunch of money on seeds. I also bought an extra share and split the seed packets up for gifts to friends.

I planted the seeds indoors and this is where the nightmare began… I have never really started plants from seeds and this was an experiment. Lessons learned:

1. Keep them out of reach of the cat. Guaco, that little devil, ate all of my peppers!

2. Keep them warm. Turning my heat down to 55 each night didn’t help the seedlings very much.

3. Don’t over water and make sure they get enough air. Most of my seedlings got moldy and died. 😦

4. Transplant them to bigger containers when they are a few inches tall. I think they started to get cramped and killed each other off.

My solution to this is to buy a plant stand next year. Menard’s has a nice plastic covered plant stand for $30. I am going to get this and put a little light with a timer inside. This should work right? It will keep the cat away at least… Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

So, a few of my seedlings survived and I started to “harden” them outside on sunny days. I would bring them out for a couple hours so they could get stronger with the sun and the wind. I left them outside one warm day while I was at work. When I came home, there was dirt all over the porch. F*&^*ing squirrels dug them all up and planted peanuts in their places! There were ONLY 3 survivors, which are doing ok in the garden right now.

Nic and I built a couple raised beds. I borrowed the truck from my work and I shoveled a ton of beautiful top soil into the beds. We then had to put fencing around them because the dogs started playing and sleeping in them. Next year, I plan to make another bed.

I bought a bunch of tomatoes and peppers to make up for the ones that were destroyed. They are now planted and are doing pretty well. I also planted a bunch of things from seeds and they are doing awesome. Peas are popping up, lettuce and chard are getting big, radishes are huge. I also have carrots, beets, okra, cabbage, and potatoes. I have already harvested some spinach and it is amazing.

My herbs and flowers are doing well too. I already harvested some herbs and they are drying in the oven right now. The lilacs have come and gone, as well as the apple blossoms from our apple tree (thank God, because Nic and I were struggling with our allergies a few weeks ago).

We have quite the little urban farm (sort of) started. I am making plans for the chicken coop for this coming spring, and I am digging up more of the yard for gardens. We have a compost pile started but I would like to build a little enclosure for it. I would also like to get some rain collection barrels going, but that involves installing gutters… I just keep adding to the list!


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