And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Funny Thing, Life.

Last fall I bought tulips and daffodils to plant in the yard. I was feeling lazy, though, and cutting chicken wire to put over them and figuring out a way to secure said chicken wire to the ground just seemed like so much work. I didn't dare just throw the bulbs in the ground unprotected, since we were spending our days on the deck watching the local squirrels bury as many acorns as they could find in the loose soil of my flower beds. I threw the bags of bulbs in the (unheated) back room and kinda forgot about them.

Fast forward to the past couple of weeks, where we have had amazingly warm weather for this early in the year. I was itching to get out in the yard and do some digging in the dirt, but other than weeding my raised beds I was out of luck. I decided that, since Little Sprout doesn't need it anymore, I would take her changing table and convert it into a seed starting station. It is just about the right time here in MN for that kind of work. While digging around looking for seed starting stuff, I came across the bags of bulbs. To my surprise, they had started sprouting in the bags!

I grabbed some foil cookie sheets and loaf pans (the kind you get 2 for $1 at the discount store), poked holes in the bottoms of the loaf pans, and started sticking the bulbs in with some seed starting mix that I had laying around the house. The planted loaf pans went inside the cookie sheets, and the cookie sheets got filled with water so it would soak up into the soil from below. At one point I ran out of loaf pans, so I raided the recycle bin and started cutting up pop bottles! I know that hearing about my choice of materials would give "professional" gardeners heart-attacks, but it's what I had. Funny thing is, it worked!

My tulips are now over 6 inches tall and seem to be very happy. I also found some bare root hostas that I threw into pots, and they are leaving (leafing?)out amazingly well. $5 for 4 hostas, and they are now just as big as the ones that I have seen at the garden center for $12-$18! I am diggin' it!

Veggies have not been forgotten, though I am running out of room. Just today I noticed that the cabbage and Brussels sprout seeds I planted have sprouted. I am going to pick up my 'mater seed later this week, along with some squash, melon, cuke and zuke. I am checking the germination rate on my leftover pea and bean seeds, and hope to not have to buy more. Still, if I do I do, and it will be well worth it.

In other garden news, I have onions already growing in my raised beds! I kinda didn't weed them last summer, and it got to the point where I really couldn't without pulling up the bulbs, too. I just left the whole mess to clean up this spring, and when I went out there to take care of that miserable job, I found that at least 70% of the onions I had left to overwinter had already sprouted. So I cleaned up around them the best I could, and solemnly promised to take better care of them this year.

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Funny the way life is. With all this wonderful gardening stuff going on, there have been some pretty big downers happening here in our Barefoot lives, as well.

We just found out that we will be losing our neighbors on the 29th of this month. The boys (there are FOUR of them in one house, bless their poor mother!) have been great friends to Big Sprout, and I know without them it will be a long summer for her. I am assuming they have lost the house to foreclosure, though they haven't actually said. It hits pretty close to home, as they bought their house two weeks before we bought Barefoot Manor and are close to us in age. It really makes you think about how easy it is to lose it all when you carry debt...... Scary.

We also got a call that Mr. Barefoot's father is in the hospital out in CA after having emergency surgery last Sunday. He will be in ICU for several more days, and is lucky to be alive. Fun. Sorry I can't give more detail on that one, but I can't seem to explain it without confusing myself.

So. That is life here at Barefoot Manor right now. We are taking advantage of the warm days, leaving housework for later. I figure the dust bunnies need a safe habitat, too, and I can chase them around the house when it is raining out....


webb said...

Just found your blog and am interested in your gardening in Minnesota.

I'm in Central Virginia and would have thought that it was way too cold still for you to have "stuff" growing that much already. Makes me feel like a piker that I haven't done more when I'm at least two zones south of you.

Hope your spring continues to go well and that things get better for your extended family.

barefoot gardener said...

Thanks for stopping by! I love meeting new "friends".

I am technically zone 4 here in central MN, but I treat my gardening as if I am zone 3, since I am right on the line. Our last frost date is usually the second or third week of May, so I have 7 weeks till I can plant things outside safely. Plenty of time for seed starting, depending on what I want to plant.

I am jealous that you live where the growing season is longer! Happy Gardening!!!!

Kelli said...

Indeed a lot going on!! Nice to see things are getting going for you, too. Too bad about your neighbors . . . it is true, I think these last few years have made most wake up to debt and its dark side. Hugs!