I have to admit that when I wrote my article “A Fresh New Approach” back in November, I had all kinds of hopes and expectations to have a thriving garden, or at least the beginnings of one by this time.
Well some things did not turn out as hoped.
I tried planting an assortment of seeds outside in my little garden shed.
I planted a few vegetables, a few herbs and some pollinator friendly flowers.
I used a good soil base, FoxFarm is one of my favorites, added some of our compost and a little vermiculite to lighten it all up.
After three weeks of waiting….absolutely nothing.
So my wonderful husband, Frank, also a gardener, tried his hand at it by planting some lettuce seeds for me indoors, in a covered planter, and then placed it in a bedroom closet with no light.
Well we had lots and lots of lettuce plants come up, the only problem is that Frank put way too many seeds together in one hole and I had a heck of a time separating them to plant in pots.
You see lettuces don’t like their roots messed with. So you want to transplant as little as possible or not at all.
I lost most of the little guys, but was able to salvage a few.
To date they are still pretty small.
Off To My Favorite Nursery
Since my seed planting was not getting anywhere, I decided to go to my favorite local nursery, which is in fact a good 45 minutes away upcountry in Kula.
I bought kale, spinach, lettuce plants, a celery plant and even a baby watermelon.
With all my plants in tow and a big smile on my face, I set out to start my garden….again.
I placed the little plants in locations I thought they would like. Gave them a few days to acclimate, then I put them in the ground.
I don’t know what happened but it seemed like overnight I lost almost all my lettuces, and to date the spinach and kale still look a little sketchy.
My watermelon died before I could transplant it.
Surprisingly, the celery is doing amazing!!!
Still, by the end of last year, I was having my doubts about all my big plans and dreams, the plants just seemed to not want to cooperate with me.
Change of Attitude
I’m not one to easily give in when obstacles present themselves, especially when it comes to something I really want.
And I really want a garden, and not just any garden, but a garden that is thriving and producing food I can harvest on a daily basis.
I want to be able to go out into my garden and pick what I need for my morning juice and smoothie. I want to go out to my garden and pick the herbs I need for drying or for dinner.
I want to grow my meals and share my experiences with others, like you.
So I mustered up some determination and went back out to the garden shed to try starting plants from seeds, yet again.
Gardening Highs and Lows
On December 29, I went out to where I believe miracles happen, life starts from a single seed, my garden shed, and just stood there for a few minutes taking it all in.
I had my box of seed packets, my bags of dirt and vermiculite, and I had my compost sitting in a bucket on the side ready for mixing.
I took in the site of the egg cartons for planting, egg shells for composting, organic fertilizer, pots, tools, and gloves; all a little dirty and a little cluttered.
I listened to the wind blowing through the screened windows and doors and the sounds of the birds chirping in our nearby ficus tree.
I breathed in the cool, fresh air of our Maui winter….yes, we do have a winter… and realized just how much I really loved doing this, gardening.
I said a little prayer and a blessing on this activity I was undertaking. I would not give up my dream and I would start each planting with love in my heart and a desire to grow.
And then I began.
I planted sage, lettuces (again), monarda, sunflower, moonflowers, green beans, nasturtiums and nigella (pictured above).
I talked to the little seeds (yes, I talk to my plants, too!) and encouraged them to do their best.
I planted each to their proper depth in the soil, sprayed them with a little water, covered them, and let them go.
By the first week of January, every lettuce seedling had come up and I have since transplanted them into small pots and placed them outside to get some sun.
The nasturtiums are doing fantastic and I transplanted them today into planters and pots.
I had one moonflower come up and one sunflower. I’m waiting for them to get a little more height on them before transplanting.
I lost the sage and nigella plants to a bad wind storm we had that knocked them off the shelf they were sitting on.
The sage I found right away, though nothing had started.
The nigella on the other hand I found later upside down on the floor. I had completely forgotten about them.
When I opened the egg carton they were in, I found that three had started, but I was unable to salvage them.
But they had started, and that is all that mattered. I would try again.
This was for me a very successful start to the New Year. Yay!
What I Did Today
• fertilized all my lettuces, (our favorite fertilizers are these)
• transplanted some lavender I had started from seed a long time ago (after numerous failures)
• cleaned up the sweet potato patch and planted some vines so they could root
• fertilized all the other transplanted plants, and
• started some new seeds, lemon cucumber, Siberian kale, chantenay carrots, and orach spinach.
What fun!! And it felt so good to be outdoors in the sun and dirt.
I must admit I love gardening, with all its high and lows and temperamental seedlings. LOL!
If you haven’t tried gardening, I highly recommend it. And don’t let the size of your yard, or lack of it, deter you from getting your hands dirty.
Check out these great resources for garden planning and container gardening for small spaces.
And have some fun in the sun!