This Week In the ’21 Garden

Day old tomato seedlings

Okay, I swear this won’t be a constant thing but I am so excited right now. It is currently 67*F outside and I am only wearing 1 layer of clothing. That’s right, no sweaters, no stupid-long socks, I am dressed for spring. Also, last week’s seedlings are starting to sprout and of course I have pictures for you. The first to come up were my rhubarb (which I learned doesn’t transplant well so we’ll see how that turns out). And just this morning I have found tomato seedlings! All I’ve ever heard is how hard it is to grow tomatoes! Now I have darling, little baby tomato seedlings growing in my bathroom. I know I shouldn’t be counting my chickens before they hatch, but I had low expectations for both of these seeds.

The rhubarb seeds, for example, were over a year old. I decided it would be wise to test them before planting them and went with the water test. Supposedly certain seeds, when put in a glass of water, will sink if they are still viable and float if they are not viable. Only 1 of the 10 or so seeds I had sank to the bottom of my glass, but I planted them all anyway and I am so glad I did. There we go, something new, a lesson for you guys, the seed viability water test doesn’t work on rhubarb.

A little rhubarb cutie.

The other thing I started from seed was a little packet of impatiens. My 3 year old picked them out and so to foster her love of gardening I was like “Sure baby, anything you want.” Mistake. That was a bad idea and here’s why: impatiens are probably the hardest seeds to start. Seriously. I have tried them before when I was childless and had more time on my hands. What made me think I could do better now with two fun-sized, needy, little lay-abouts in tow? Nothing has come up yet and I am having my doubts. It has only been a week and things may still change… but just in case they don’t I bought a pack of pink cosmos and I’ll pop those in the ground when the kid isn’t looking and say “Look sweetie! What a good gardener you are!”

Bad idea? I don’t care. I always swore I wouldn’t be the type of parent that secretly replaces the dead goldfish before their child notices, but here we are.

Finally, in things happening on the property around the homestead, one of my favorite early spring activities is getting closer. For the last 2 years in a row my daughter and I have made dandelion syrup from the dandelion blooms in the front yard. The first year it was a total luck thing. I came across the recipe on a nice weekend and happened to have all the ingredients. I grabbed a plastic bowl and (at the time) 20 month old and went out collecting blossoms. I even managed to make it last year with a 3 month old, and that was hard. Since we don’t spray the yard and I always encourage my oldest to blow on the dandelion puffs we have more and more blossoms coming up every year. This year I should be able to get multiple batches and I want to experiment with the recipe some. I can count 5 bright yellow blooms out in the dead brown grass right now, in another month I will have to tiptoe around to keep from stepping on them.

Also! We have new trees coming in. 9 new trees actually. A dear friend of mine sent us a surprise gift card to a nursery and I was like, gimme all the pretty things. So we have a Tulip Magnolia, Redbud, Lilac bush, rose bush, a Red Twig Dogwood, and 3 Birch trees on their way, plus a peach tree from somewhere else. My friends, I have run into a particular problem. I haven’t a clue where to put these trees. It’s not like I don’t have space, we have a whole acre in the front yard we aren’t utilizing, but it’s too far from a water source to be practical. When we placed the order it was happening on the premise that things will magically come together when the trees arrive and I have since come to my senses. I will have to put actually effort into this one.

Now, not all of these things are homeless. The rose bush will be going in the vegetable garden in the same row as the rhubarb and our hazelnut tree since those are all perennials. I have an idea of where I want the lilac to go. But paper birch can get up to 70 feet tall and 35 feet wide at maturity so I haven’t a clue where we are going to stick those. And I’m not allowed to put anything inside the fenced in area of the back yard even though the redbud or tulip magnolia would be perfect in-the-yard trees. So I have more work to do this spring, a lot more work. It’s fine.

Y’all I am not going to lie, right now I struggling to come up with content but stick with me for a few more weeks this place will be bursting like the gum trees behind my barn. A few more warm days like this one, a few more spring showers, and we will be rolling into the thing I have been looking forward to for MONTHS!

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