Last week I planted bunches and bunches of green onions that had been reduced by Piggly Wiggly to 79cents for three bunches. I bought them, not for consumption but for the sole purpose of planting them and having them snuggle into the soil and send down new roots and to grow and prosper. This week (Thursday) while visiting my veggie garden to close the greenhouse door due to the impending frost, I noticed that one of the cats (no idea which) had decided to use the raised bed as a litter box and had dug up all of the onions in an attempt to cover up some poo.
I realized that if I am going to be able to grow anything this year then I am going to have to keep the cats off the raised beds. I came up with a brilliant (we shall see) idea. I have rolls and rolls of green plastic trellis which in years past I have used to protect my seed beds from the animals and secondly allow my peas and beans a structure to climb up. I cut the pieces of plastic trellis to size and laid it down on the raised beds and stapled it to the wood on the side of the beds to ensure it was taut. My theory (soon to be tested) was that if the cats cannot scratch, then they are more than likely not going to use the beds as a litter box.
I gathered up all my displaced onions, stapled down the trellis, dug out all the cat poo, and replaced the onions. I then planted the 18 broccoli plants that my husband came home with on Friday thanks to the FFA program in his school, and transplanted all of my lettuce seedlings into the bed. My only problem was that the FFA broccoli plants were just a tad too big to stuff into the hole in the trellis so I had to smoosh them to get them in the ground.
I transplanted 80 lettuce seedlings, approximately 15 Arugula and 15 Spinach seedlings. With regards to the lettuce I calculated that I had an 80% germination rate with them. I am extremely stingy with my seeds, usually (unless I am clumsy) only planting one seed per cell. I HATE thinning seedlings (I have a totally irrational hatred of “killing” a living lettuce plant, it deserves to live after all). So after transplanting all of the peat pot cells that had a growing seedling in it, I had 20 left over that had never germinated. I think that is a pretty good rate.
I immediately used those empty cells to plant more lettuce as well as sowing some bird house gourd seeds, I am really interested in growing my own bird houses.
It rained steadily all day but I didn’t mind, once I was wet, I was wet, once my jeans had muddy knees it didn’t really bother me, and the time spent in my greenhouse was dry time. I didn’t think of anything at that time, no work, no housework, nothing, just counting out seeds, stuffing them into the moist earth and looking forward to the plants to come. Gardening is such a Zen activity, it is meditation at its finest, nothing going through your mind other than the well being of the seeds you are planting and the joy of the plant’s fruits to come. It is the essence of calm. It is exactly what I needed right now.