April 1, 2014

karly gardens: april 1, 2014

Blue curled Kale







You may recall that last year, I made my first real attempt to grow food.  In the spring, it seemed like a good plan to document the journey and share it here under the tag "adventures of an amateur gardener."  But, I posted once in April, once in May, and once in July…and that was it (plus a random wrap-up full of iPhone photos long after the growing season had ended).  Perhaps because the harvests became repetitive after the spring crops finished up, perhaps because the title of the project itself was too wordy, or perhaps because 2013 was a bit of a busy year…I can't pinpoint what went wrong, but in 2014 I am setting out to share once more.  This year I have researched, I have employed new tools, and I have spent the entire winter whining about the weather so that when finally I am able to get back in the dirt, the anticipation has made it that much more exciting.
In February, I was given the gift of light.  A four-tray stand with grow lights for starting strong baby plants indoors…finally, the potential to see a little green!  I researched plant timing and started new seeds every few weeks…first, rosemary and brassicas, then peppers, then tomatoes and herbs and a few other little things.  Their progress was exciting, especially if we went away for the weekend and came back to new sprouts or plants that had doubled in size.  When I went to Key West with my parents the week before last, my husband did a wonderful job caring for the plants and I came back to leafy peppers!  Tall tomatoes!  Exploding kale and broccoli leaves!  Last week, the first transplants went out into the garden…lacinato Kale, Romanesco, and cauliflower.  They joined the peeking early spring sprouts I planted a few weeks prior, including radishes, peas, and spinach (I would like to add that we got two snowfalls after I planted those seeds and everybody came up anyway, despite folks warning me that I was jumping the gun).  Yesterday, I sowed many more spring seeds, including carrots, beets, lettuce, arugula, and rainbow chard.
Gardening is awesome.
I know I said this last year, but I do hope to share the garden happenings this year!  I also love having photos of the process, because it's amazing to look at photos of the cucumber and squash plants from one month to the next and to marvel at how huge and prolific they became in such a short time…and also to enjoy said photos in February when we're muddling through cold and windy and grey weather.
I'm sharing a good bit over on Instagram (daisyjars), where I'm using the tag #karlygardens to gather my images.  Much easier to say than "adventures of an amateur gardener," wouldn't you say?

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