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Friday, March 8, 2013

What I'm Growing Now

A few years ago, I had a conversation with a novice gardener in about July.  I hate to be the know-it-all gardener when I'm talking to a newbie, but sometimes your heart just breaks if there is an obvious mistake.

"So what are you growing?" I asked.

"Well, [blah-blah-blah] and peppers.  But my peppers are so small.  I don't know if they will ever produce peppers this year," she mused.

"You mean you just have little peppers on your plant?  Or did you direct seed?"

"I'm growing them from seed," she said proudly.

With a growing sense of foreboding, I asked, "when did you put them in the ground?"

"Oh, Mother's Day, like you do."

Sigh.  I knew this poor newbie was going to have a failure of a pepper year, because there wasn't enough time for the peppers to reach maturity.  I tried to gently suggest that she could bring the plants indoors when it got cold, so long as they had set fruit already.  Of course, she direct seeded into her garden rather than a container, so she was going to face the "reverse hardening off" process that I find so difficult.

In any case, I always think of my newbie friend whenever I start my peppers -- in February.  I usually seed on Groundhog Day (because spring is coming, darn it!), but this year I was about three weeks late due to vacation.  Nonetheless, my peppers have sprouted and are catching up under their grow lights.

On my Mom's birthday (March 1), I always plant my tomatoes (her favorite fruit/veg!) I'm growing from seed.  This year, I have only seeded the Ox Heart tomatoes, and I'm waiting for them to sprout.

Regardless, it is a wonderful celebration of spring.

What have you started for your garden?  What zone are you in?
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