Garden with Grace

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some." ~H.Rappaport

Red Solo Cup, I Fill You Up…Let’s Have a (Garden) Party

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(I’ve edited the title of this blog thanks to the inspiration of my friend Liz…and Toby Keith)

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed the promise of a new gardening season by starting a few seeds in my house in early to mid March. Usually one or two varieties of tomatoes and hot peppers, along with a culinary herb or two thrown in (most often basil or cilantro.)

Seven years ago, that annual feeling of promise turned my gardening hobby into a full-blown commitment! A Costco-sized package of Red Solo Cups, that would have been more appropriate for a college keg party, became my new favorite gardening tool in 2009. Using an icepick, I carefully poked three holes for drainage in the bottom of every one….that in itself took over an hour!

FB_IMG_1459601989890A variety of organic seeds were ordered online and a new shelf for warming trays and adjustable grow lights that were stored in the basement, transformed my little sun porch into a tiny green house. By early May, I had over 100 plants ready for my garden (and all my friends’ gardens!)

By Memorial Day, the seedlings were outside in their summer containers and garden beds.

In August, we enjoyed the fruits of our nearly six months of labor. Of all the heirloom tomatoes, the Black Krim were the hands-down favorite with Brandywine being a close second.

It’s been seven years since I’ve started seedlings indoors in late winter. While I really do enjoy the ritual of researching new seeds to plant, I’ve been leaving that part of my gardening process to local nurseries and greenhouses in recent years.

Today, after I fell across the 2009 photo with all the Red Solo Cups, I admit that I had a sudden urge to pick up a bag of potting soil while I stocked up on woodpecker suet cakes at the Nashua Farmer’s Exchange this afternoon. I let the urge pass, and will save my impulse buys for my first visit to the local greenhouse in early May.

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