Katie’s beginner (idjit) garden week one

This week it was time to move my kitchen-window, wanna-be garden off the shelves and into raised beds at the community garden. The bean bush seedlings didn’t look like they could take another day in their undersized, peat pots, and the other seedlings seemed to be aching to get out of their confining starter tray too. 

Sadly, some hadn’t made it to transplant day; the scallions and sweet peas met an early demise. Had I read the scallions seed packet I would have learned that it is “not recommended” to start them inside. But the bean bush packet says the same thing, and they were my star performers. There was more unheeded advice to be found on the sweet pea packet; “Soak seed in water for 12-24 hours or nick with sandpaper before planting.” But who can be bothered with the fine print?

I have, only upon this writing, made the horrifying discovery that my sunflower seedlings are of the “Mammoth Russian” variety, which the packet says grow six- to ten-feet tall! I had assumed “Mammoth” referred to the size of the flower head. Score one for the idjit gardener! How ridiculous those will look in the middle of my four-foot by four-foot garden. I think I’ll transport them to my mother’s garden where they will likely be more at home growing adjacent to her sizeable hornbeams.

The lettuce leaf and baby carrot seedlings, though healthy looking, were difficult to thin and transplant.  I’m highly skeptical that any of them will survive the experience. The Italian Large Leaf basil was easier, but I may have packed too many into a square.

I have a feeling my eventual square-foot gardens will bear little resemblance to their initial appearance. O.K., I can hope. Think of the following video as the pitiful “before” shots we architects and designers are so fond of including adjacent to miraculous “after” shots. Here’s hoping for stunning “after” shots.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast