HOMEGROWN

Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)



Who turns their living room into a green house?

Dirt covers my floors, couch, dining hutch, and end tables. Make shift seedling pots are over ever flat surface available. There are sour cream, yogurt, coffee cups, baby food containers, non-dairy coffee creamer jugs, peat pots, etc. anything I could get my hands on to grow a plant in. I debate adding more tables until we have a few warmer nights outside. Thirty and forty degree temps are not going to keep my seedlings flourishing. Expectations...

I worry about the seedlings often. Are they warm enough? Are they too leggy? Are they growing fast and large enough? Will they successfully supply my family with much needed fruit or will they only succeed in being leaves and stems? My expectations, hopes, dreams ride on these little seedling's backs. This is my chance to learn (more than I know), see what I can grow (on a large scale), and how being a stay at home mom I can still provide for my family. I don't have much room for error in this. Perhaps these seedlings will even open the door to additional income for my family in the future. Expectations...

The expectations are great. A pantry full of homegrown food. Even a simple shopping cart of groceries stresses my tiny budget. No extras. No pop, sweets, treats, extra baked goods, or much meat ever get bought at the grocery. It isn't like you need those items. Could we eat even cheaper? Yup. Sure we could if we ate the same boring meals day after day. I don't want to eat as poor as I am. White rice for dinner every night isn't on my menu. I want to eat variety. I want to eat quality, expensive, healthful food. Honestly, I want to eat like a king and queen and have excellent choices for my children. So you see, these seedlings are my pantry. My hopes for variety and savings in the next year. Expectations...

I tend them at least three times a day. I turn them. Water them with a spray bottle to ensure the germinating seeds don't get washed around. Watch to see if new plants have sprouted. Gently fertilize them once they have more than two leaves. Thin them. Transplant them. Expectations...

Try watering 240 seeds with a spray bottle. The muscles in your forearms get a nice little workout. There is of course more than just food growing. I have some perennial flowers, ornamental grasses, and annual flowers growing as well. Or hoping they grow. They tend to have longer germination periods so there is the promise of beautiful landscaping without actually knowing if a single plant will thrive and with out the huge expense of purchasing more mature plants. Expectations...

Honestly, I know in my heart that if this garden isn't as spectacular as my expectations imply there is always next year, but I want so badly for this year's garden to be spectacular. I have waited for and imagined this garden for years. No master gardener grows their masterpiece garden in three year but... expectations...

People driving buy, walking by (we have a lot of foot traffic & street traffic), and stopping by must think we are crazy with my current living room green house. I can only imagine what they think is going on here. My one neighbor is thrilled though that I will be canning for the first time this year. He exclaimed that it is a "lost art". Maybe I am not crazy after all... expectations.

Grow little seedlings. Grow! What are your expectations for your yard/garden/living room this year?
P.S. I confess I am addicted to buying seed and I promise to stop now for the year. I walk past a seed rack and always find more veggies and flowers I could grow to make my yard lovely. 

Visit Two Blue Houses for more posts related to the farm, home, DIY, and using what you got.

Views: 66

Comment by dixiebelle on April 21, 2011 at 5:23am
Good luck! You know, for every seed that didn't germinate, or seedling that didn't make it, or crop that got raveged... there often seems to be something that surprises me in the garden. A bumper crop of one thing, something else I'd forgotten I'd planted, or didn't know it had survived, or produced late, or something I didn't even know was edible! I am also addicted to heirloom & organic seeds... they are worth more than gold!
Comment by Lisa Mazzuca on April 22, 2011 at 9:50am

I love this article. I'm saving all the containers that might fit plants into them too. I just potted up 14 tomatoes into gallon milk jugs yesterday! Lots of seedlings going that MUST survive (please please please) Good luck and God bless your garden!

http://mynjgarden.com

Comment by Jay Geneske on April 22, 2011 at 3:35pm
I love this! I planted an indoor herb garden about a month ago, and I'm not seeing seedlings. They are in a south-facing window in organic soil. I lightly water them about once a week.

Should I start over? Any advice?
Comment by Aliza Ess on April 22, 2011 at 4:39pm
Nice post, and I can understand about those expectations! My friend and I are starting a new garden in an abandoned lot, and we direct seeded 100 feet already with radishes, carrots, beets, peas, and kale, and barely anything came up save a few peas and radishes. It was discouraging, but I've bounced back by realizing that transplants will do better, and many friends have offered to share transplants of their herbs and perennials which will probably more resilient in this tough soil for now!
Comment by Shannon Floyd on April 22, 2011 at 5:35pm
I totally relate with you.  I have tomatoes in every window, peppers, egg plants, herbs and flowers germinating under florescent bulbs, my kitchen island is covered.  I baby them, care for them and love them.  Much like you, I have great expectations for these little plants that began as seeds just a month ago.  Thank you for your post :)
Comment by Lauren Klouda on April 22, 2011 at 9:13pm

Thanks all for commenting! Gardening is a wonderful and tricky thing. I grew up with a large garden and helping my dad but he always bought his transplants from the local green house. I would break the bank doing that!

 

Aliza - Gosh I have BEEN there. My first garden deer ate everything but the broccoli even though I was in the middle of the city. Shannon - it sounds beautifully green... I have kitchen island envy. Lisa - I am with you willing these lovelies to take off and thrive! Every container I empty I think... I can plant something in this? Dixiebelle - I was thinking about that as I wrote this. Even if my cabbage fails something else will make it big. I am so grateful for that! Jay - I am jealous of your south facing window. If nothing has sprouted you might be watering too infrequently. I always touch my soil to make sure I am not over or under watering. The "looks" can be deceiving. Also, germination rates vary greatly. I just now have stuff sprouting that I planted at the beginning of April. And a lot of my eggplants didn't sprout. The seed was two years old so I bought new seed and started over. We don't plant outside here in Ohio until the middle to end of May so if it were me I would start a new round. Sometimes planting depth, nicking the seeds, soaking (parsley), refrigerating of seeds is necessary... don't give up! 

 

Good luck with all your gardening endeavors. 

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