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That’s parsley in the foreground shade, coriander to the left, tomatoes staked and not so staked, hiding the bed now devoid of potatoes and home to broccoli, onions and lettuce seeds. Behind all that (along the fence) are the olive trees, oregano, thyme and sage.
We’ve been tidying and reorganising inside and out. Pulling out pumpkins, digging up potatoes, tackling the enormous number of weeds that grew when we we turned our backs for a few months, and rearranging the living room. The lounge furniture has been turned clockwise, the dining table and toys have been swapped, and a book nest has been created.
We’ve sorted books, cleared shelves of crap and bought more baskets. The secret to a happy toy collection and art supplies is always more baskets. I’ve even sharpened the pencils and thrown out textas that don’t work.
We’re so freakin’ happy to be home for the whole day doing only things we fancy doing. I got excited. I ignored the list of “basic mainenance level housework” (vacuuming, for example) and did several things on the “once a year level” list. I oiled the wooden bowl collection. I even dusted.
I’m not entirely sure where we’ll be living in late spring or summer. Actually, I’m not even a little bit sure, there are a few vague possibilities in the works. I am sure that we wont be living here for years and years to come, but I don’t know exactly when we’ll be moving. Let alone where. I don’t just mean “which house we’d move to” either, I mean “I can’t narrow it down to less than a 200km radius of our current address”. Which, I think you’ll agree, makes gardening a little tricky.
I do have my Diggers seed catalogue and I have been reading and annotating, but I have been unable to reach any decent conclusions because the various places I might live are in different climatic zones. So I’m dealing with occasional snow and lots of frost in one possible location in winter, and regular high 30s and low 40s type temperatures in summer in another location. I have a stash of seeds in the drawer which I should be starting now-ish. If only I had a seed raising mini-greenhouse type arrangement to do it in. I need to start seeds in seedling trays because the ground is full of broad beans that have barely begun to flower and I would very much like to enjoy the fruits of my broad bean labours. Moving house is probably a couple of months off at least, and I am a bit torn between not wanting to leave the garden and all the work we’ve put into it, and very much looking forward to a new, bigger, sunnier garden not over shadowed by a five storey building (which will be demolished in a few months and I don’t really want to be around for that either). I am also torn between getting seedlings started in trays all ready for our new hypothetical garden, and not wanting to move house with dozens of trays of seedlings because frankly we have more than enough stuff without adding delicate plant life into the mix. I am only considering new homes within my current state, so I don’t have to worry about crossing borders with the plant life and creating legal issues.
I know what you’re thinking, “what the hell is she getting all whiney on the internet for?”, and the answer dear reader is: please offer me a job, then I will know where I have to live.
The rest I can deal with myself.
I’ve shown you the broccoli seedlings, they’ve grown more since that was taken, and I’ve even let them have some outside time with the big kids. Sadly a couple succumbed to the human kid during evening ‘play outside rather than going mental’ time.
I also had a brainwave while sitting in the kitchen the other day when I saw a container of cotton face wipey things I think I inherited from my Grandma. She died five years ago, and I’ve moved house with these wipes (I think they’re for removing makeup) several times now. I’ve also got hundreds of cotton balls because I got sucked in while pregnant to the idea that babies require cotton balls. Frankly, I found a muslin facewasher was much simpler when he was a newborn, and these days we just squirt him with high pressure bath toys.
But I digress, unused cotton balls and wipey things are now sitting lined up in trays with seeds sprouting on them in our kitchen. In fact, quite a bit of our kitchen table is taken up with them, and we have people coming for dinner. I’m quite happy with myself for coming up with a seed raising plan that doesn’t involve the purchase of more potting mix, and of finally finding a use for all those bloody cotton balls, but we may be eating dinner in the loungeroom for a couple of weeks.
In other news, Cooking Disasters! I started a loaf of no-knead bread a couple of days ago, without checking the forecast. For those not in the know, no-knead bread spends 18-20 hours rising after you mix it together, so it’s a mix now for tomorrow situation. Yesterday it was about 700 degrees so I didn’t turn the oven on, in fact, we left the house early and didn’t come back til it was nearly dark. I left the dough sitting in a bowl with a teatowel over it on the bench by the window all day. So this morning when I was feeling brave enough to broach it, I discovered that it had cooked a bit around the edges. It smelled a bit from over proofing too. Sour. Anyway, I figured I’d give it a chance rather than throw it out, so I tipped it out onto flour, kneaded it around a little, discarded the cooked bits, and when it had risen again, I put it in the oven.
I’ve just taken it out of the oven and I thought I’d write while it cools. Which it probably has by now. So wish me luck. This may be a truly awful sandwich I’m about to embark on.