Sunday, April 24, 2011

Putting The Potting Shed To Good Use

Friday was a great day to be outside here on The Witch’s Island. We both had the day off work thanks to the Good Friday holiday and it was also Earth Day so I decided that I should spend the afternoon getting my seeds started for the vegetable garden. Friday was also the sixth anniversary of my Dad’s death and that’s always a rough day for me so I was glad to have something to keep me busy.

After Wednesday night’s snow storm (yes, three weeks into April for crying out loud!) the temperature was back up to normal and the snow had all melted off again. There was a bit of an edge to the wind though so while it was great to get outside I was glad I could get into the potting shed, to dig in the dirt.

 There’s no mistaking what goes in this box.
There’s no mistaking what goes in this box.

 These mint tins are a great way to keep leftover seeds organized.
These mint tins are a great way to keep leftover seeds organized.

While I was planting the tomato seeds I started thinking about just how much variance there is in the per seed cost of those cute little packs. The Tiny Tim variety is the best price per seed. You get 200 seeds in a package for just $1.95 or less than a penny per seed. I know from last year’s garden that each plant will produce lots of tomatoes so they are a very good bargain. We also grew Bobcats last year with good success but they are much more expensive. A package of Bobcats contains just 25 seeds and costs $4.35 or about 17.5 cents each.

 The trays have all been filled with starter mix. Let’s get planting!
The trays have all been filled with starter mix. Let’s get planting!

 That’s a lot of cucumbers. It looks like we’ll be giving away extras again this year.
That’s a lot of cucumbers. It looks like we’ll be giving away extras again this year.

We are trying two new varieties this year Tomande ($4.75 for 20 seeds or about 24 cents each) and Applause ($5.15 for 15 seed or about 34 cents each). How can there be a 3400% difference between two varieties of tomatoes? I’m sure that Vesey’s has good justification but it still makes me wonder. I just hope that the two new types will be good producers, too.

 The Raiders were very successful last summer.
The Raiders were very successful last summer.

 Okay, you’re all planted. Now grow, my pretties!
Okay, you’re all planted. Now grow, my pretties!

Whatever they cost you still have to place two or three seeds together in each cell of the starter tray so you’d better hope they all germinate and grow strong enough to separate into individual plants. I love this part, you know, watering, feeding, transplanting, and then transplanting again into the garden. The watching daily for my little seedlings to sprout is worth every bit of effort. The first one to poke through the soil makes me smile and my heart fills with hope at what my garden will be like this year. All these veggies will be harvested, consumed, pickled, frozen, over-wintered, given to love ones and the local food bank.

While I was prepping the seed trays Hubby was not just sitting back drinking beer. He replaced the top surface of the tractor shed ramp which had rotted out. The original surface had been made with left-over pieces of plywood that he had on hand but 5 years of exposure to the elements had been too much. The plywood was badly rotted and some of the supporting structure was also in poor condition. He replaced it all with pressure treated material and then covered it with adhesive backed roofing roll for added weather proofing and traction. Hopefully, this will last for quite a few years.

He also put the clothesline to work for the first time this year. The bed was stripped and the sheets and blankets were washed and hung out to remove a winter’s worth of staleness and farts that tumble drying just can’t touch. We slept like babies that night!

 The new ramp for the tractor shed now has a non-slip surface thanks to some leftover materials from the gazebo.
The new ramp for the tractor shed now has a non-slip surface thanks to some leftover materials from the gazebo.

 While I was sowing seeds I had my laundry boy hang out the wash.
While I was sowing seeds I had my laundry boy hang out the wash.

It was just so nice to have my hands busy while I thought of my father. I remember the one year he came for a visit and I was dead-heading some marigolds as he was watching. I turned and looked at him and said “You’re not just a pretty face you know, you can help out.” He burst out with laughter and started helping me. The poor marigolds lost their heads, some dead and some new blossoms, but we had fun. Thinking of the look on his face still makes me laugh to this day and I’m laughing and crying now as I miss him so much.

 This happy little frog is going to greet me at the potting shed until I can get some flowers for this urn.
This happy little frog is going to greet me at the potting shed until I can get some flowers for this urn.

I hope your Earth Day was great. Happy Easter and I hope the Easter Bunny found you.

9 comments:

Jane said...

As I read your post I thought to myself - what a perfect day! I know what it's like to miss your father - mine was a gardener extrordinaire - our garden kept us fed full of wonderful things every year. So whenever I am gardening I think of my dad.
"Now grow my pretties" - a little bit of the wicked witch coming through there lol!

Canadian Saver said...

You certainly kept busy over the long weekend! I love the pictures of the seeding :-)

It is sad about your Dad... I don't know what I'll do when I lose mine... but you seem to have awesome memories :-)

Happy Easter!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Happy Easter!! I continue to admire how organized you are--What a great idea you had about storing your seeds in the tins--I may steal that from you! :-)

I'm glad you had a good day. I know how it is to miss a parent--I've lost both of mine now, and it really is an ache that never goes away. But thankfully we have our memories that no one can take from us.

Marguerite said...

I'm so impressed with how organized everything is in your garden shed. Those mint boxes are wonderful! Seeing you planting seeds now I feel slightly foolish. I planted mine far too early this year (the tomatoes anyway, they are so tall). It was a real lovely weekend wasn't it? Perfect warm weather and so nice to be outdoors. It was nice to hear your happy memories of your father, sounds like you had a wonderful relationship.

Denise said...

I wish I had a garden shed like this. Yours is definitely something to be proud of. So sorry for your loss, I miss my Dad all the time, my Mum too, but like you I remember these times when we all had a good laugh, sometimes about the silliest things, which really were the best of times.

Sisters of the Blog said...

Glad you had the day off and were able to enjoy it as you reminisced, got a little sad, and kept busy.

Both of my parents are gone, and yes, there are certain times where i really miss them. My Gram, who became a second mom to me after my mother died, died on 24 April 1994, and i find myself getting a tad wistful about this time of year, too.

Digging in the dirt definitely helps, and with such a pretty potting shed and seed box, how can seeds do anything but grow, grow, grow?

My tomato seeds have sprouted, and i rejoiced when i saw one luffa gourd bit of green just poking through the soil. I don't know if we'll have enough warm days for those, but i'm hopeful!

megan

Suz said...

you are way too organized
puts me to shame
Marigolds..hmm. I have a memory of them..everytime I deadhead them..my grandfather
He used to let me do that...
sweet sweet sweet...amazing to havea flower do that for us
bless your loving heart witchiepoo
Loved your fox photos
My guy doesn't have a fine tail like that....skimpy one
maybe he's sick but he spent the night in the igloo dog house
oh dear

Anonymous said...

Reading your post made me tear up a bit. Have been reading your blog for a while now, you are very talented.

Mary

Connie in Japan said...

Surprise! I'm back!! Loved this post...specially now that I can actually go outside and putter in a small garden. I missed you and your blog! Funny thought my area comes up Koriyama, Fukushima on your blog traffic! Yikes! We are far from Fukushima-that's where the reactor problems are..! We are Kyushu, Fukuoka prefecture. Anyways, glad to be able to read your blog again!! Hugs!!!!