07 March 2011

Patio Garden Experiment 2011

Can you believe it? Spring is almost here! One of our little daffodil/narcissus plants is in full bloom, the iris leaves are stretching up past 12" now, and the plum tree is about to bust out in beautiful flowering fireworks. Yay!! Plums this year!! (Our tree took a Sabbatical last year)

So, Patio Garden Experiment 2011 is underway. You can see PGE 2010 right here. We began PGE 2011 by starting some seedlings indoors. These are plants that can handle being planted before the last frost. Some of the seedlings didn't push through but we did plant what came up, in addition to a few purple potatoes that we had saved. I'm looking forward to trying potatoes in a pot! We will have to mound them up somehow. 

Here's how we began this year's experiment....

1) The seedlings were started in a compostable egg carton a couple of weeks prior. Daddy-daughter bonding time. We kept this in our kitchen until planting day.

2) I cut out a section of the carton with the seedling to plant.

3) I punctured the bottom with my trusty fiskars, to help break down the carton or help the roots escape if the carton takes a while to break down in the dirt. 

4) We planted the seedling, carton and all, in our large patio pots. My husband had added some fresh compost to the pots a couple of weeks prior and we noticed a nice number of worms in the dirt. My daughter loves handling those little guys (no, really! She loves them).

We also had to dig out the acorns (they fell by the millions this winter) as they were already starting to bust out and root. Yikes! We may have a nice oak forest on our hands this summer...we'll have to keep our eyes on the dirt and do a lot of weeding. 

Note to self: "Self, don't put the acorns you rake up into the compost pile." 

5) We had our assistant gardener make sure the plant was sufficiently buried. (Yes, I documented this moment when our assistant was convinced that a t-shirt and jeans would be appropriate planting attire. She prefers to dig while wearing a dress or tutu with pink galoshes).

6) The head gardener (that would be my husband) inserted the ring. Just like that....We're in the observation stage! 

Fun times. Be sure to check back for more fun with our experiment.