It's Not Easy Being Green

Actually, it really is easy being green...at least my seedlings seem to think so!!  Hannah and I have been planting seeds for the last 2 weeks, and they are taking off quite nicely.  From what I can see online, we are in Zone 3b, and May 10th is the expected last frost date (though we do get snow year round), so I have been planting all of my "Start Early" seeds.

Last week we got some of our early flowers started.  Rain Daises, Canterbury Bells, Violas and Wave Petunias all got planted.  So far the Daisy seeds, Canterbury Bells and Violas are popping up...some as quick as a day later!  The Petunias aren't showing signs of life right now, but no worries...they are found at nearly every garden center, so I know I can find some established plants later on.

(Don't mind the clover plant in the photo...I had to move it away from the windows since my cat Ella has decided that it makes for a tasty treat!)

Yesterday we started working on the seeds that need to get started 6-8 weeks before the last frost.  First up were broccoli and jalapeno peppers.  I know, I know, peppers aren't supposed to be early starters, but this breed is.  Supposedly it makes for an early crop, which I think is awesome!  I mean, once summer is officially here, who wants to wait for several weeks before having a batch of homemade salsa??  We grew jalapenos from an established plant last year and they were fantastic!  I'm hoping for good results from my own seeds. 

As for the broccoli, we've never grown it before, but we eat a fair amount of it, so I thought I'd give it a try.  If the directions on the packet prove to be true, then we may actually get a few crowns off each plant.  We shall see.

Parsley is a plant that I love to have around.  Last year I had an awesome plant in the garden and I ended up making yummy pesto with the crop.  We planted parsley seeds a week ago, but they dried out too fast, so we planted a second batch.  Hopefully these little guys fair better than the last ones.

This is the start of my tea garden.  I have always loved herbal tea and the idea of making my own "brew" would be a dream come true!  So, I took the plunge and planted some chamomile, spearmint and lemon balm.  I am planning on these being in pots on the deck, so the mint and lemon balm won't go crazy and take the garden over.  Of all of my seeds, these are the ones that I am really hoping work out!!

Finally, here is my attempt at growing sunflowers.  I have grown some in years past from seed and I've had so-so luck.  Then last year the birds "planted" some of the seeds from their feeder and we had monster sized flowers!!  Remember this post about Hannah and I roasting the seeds??

I'm going to attempt to start a few plants indoors this year from the bird seed.  If they don't take off, I'll just plant some seeds directly in the ground in a few weeks.
I have to remind myself not to get too excited about all of the green popping up indoors, considering the condition of my actual gardens outside.  Though much of the white stuff is melting, we still have a ways to go before I'll be knee deep in the dirt. 

As you can see, my side garden is thawing nicely.  I think I'll go out and cut back the cat mint this weekend.  After seeing the neighborhood cats jumping my fence to get to it last year, I think I will start looking for something not quite so cat friendly for this year.  It's too bad, the flowers are quite pretty...I just can't stand the fact that it, and the cats took over the garden as a result.  I can probably get several smaller plants into the same spot this year and be much happier!!

As for my veggie garden...well, see for yourself.  The snow is melting, but it is still a chore to get to it.  Once I can clear a path, I think I'm going to put some clear plastic over it so the sun can get in and warm the soil.  I have a feeling that much of the dirt is probably already thawed, as it sits on the south side of the house and gets most of the available sun.  We'll see and that will be an update for another day.

In the meantime, I'm off to see what other seeds I can start early.  I need to pick up some more seed trays.  Thankfully Hannah's birthday party next weekend is garden themed, so I don't have to move all of my seedlings before the guests arrive...they're just going to be part of the decorations!!

Happy Planting!

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