Inch by inch, row by row

Posted by Missy on April 5, 2011 in Adventures in Abbydom, House |

I have a confession to make: I read the Pioneer Woman’s blog like it’s the Bible. Seriously, Ree Drummond is my personal hero – if only because she seems to get even MORE done in a day than I do. And she does it while isolated on a ranch in the middle of Oklahoma!

For the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve been avidly reading her posts about her vegetable garden and all the wonderful veggies and herbs she and her kids grow out there on their acres and acres of prairie. And despite the fact that I’ve never so much as successfully sprouted a string bean before, I’ve gotten it into my head that this will be the Year I Have a Veggie Garden in the Backyard. Should be fun.

Now, please keep in mind that I am not a ranch wife with 4 homeschooled kids who has all day to toil out in the sun over her lovely tomatoes. I’m not even one of those hipster moms who grows fresh oregano on her windowsill in Park Slope, pruning and watering after work. I’m a suburban working mom who travels anywhere from 20-40% of the time for work and volunteers for eleventy million things when I’m home. Time (and the patience that go along with it) is just not something I have a lot of. Another thing I don’t have a lot of? Space in the backyard that gets sun. There’s a relatively small patch that stays bright from about 11:00 a.m. onward, and some planter boxes at Home Depot I have eye on.

So I realistically decided that I need to make things easy on myself. Not get too crazy. I wanted some tomatoes. Maybe some zucchini because I totally buy a crapton of zucchini at the farm stand every week in the summer. And basil, because basil is yummy. And I wanted them in containers because I don’t feel like balancing the pH of the soil or pulling up rocks or whatever. Or bending over. I don’t like bending over too much if I can help it.

As Abby and I stared down the display of seeds in Target the other day, she spotted some peas and was desperate to buy them and grow them. Since she has *just* discovered her undying love for sugar snap peas, she could not be dissuaded. Plus, I figure girlfriend has experience. She successfully grew green beans at school with her class last year, and we even got to bring part of the crop home and eat them!

Abby also decided we needed to grow lettuce (lettuce? She doesn’t eat salad?) and yellow squash. So now we had 5 kinds of seeds (but no basil) and we needed to get pots to start them in. So much for small and manageable. I found cute biodegradable starter pots that you can pop right into the ground once your seedlings come up. That and a pair of tiny pink gardening gloves and we were good to go.

Late Sunday afternoon, Abby, Emily and I went outside to start our seedlings. We lined all of the little pots up on an old cookie tray and carefully scooped potting soil into each cup.

Abby added water to our dried-out potting soil.

Then we carefully added precisely the number of seeds to each pot, strictly following the packet directions for spacing and soil depth. (Read: we dumped some seeds into each pot.)

Listen. If you had as little success at growing ANYTHING in the past as I’ve had, you’d take the “spray and pray” method of seed sowing too. We added a bit more soil to each cup. (Simmy helped.)Patted it down.

And felt really good about ourselves.

Now all those little pots (plus 10 mini pots of basil seeds I found at KMart) are sitting on a counter top in my kitchen, waiting for some sun to shine down on them and make those little seeds start growing. Wish them luck – they’ll need it!

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