Monday, March 30, 2009

Home Again

We are back in Columbia just in time to ring in the new season (hopefully). While we were gone, a group of our friends tag-teamed puppy/bird/house sitting for us and we could not be more indebted to them. If you're a pet-owner you know what it's like leaving your pets at home or, worse yet, kenneling them at the vet's or boarding place alongside various other dogs from who KNOWS what kind of home! It's stressful! Even taking them is a bit stressful, but with two dogs, two birds, two people and one car, we couldn't figure out a safe way to travel home to SC with everyone arriving in tact so we pooled together our friends and they really came through for us in a bind! We are eternally grateful!

Upon our return home, I discovered that everything I'd been growing from seed when I left a week ago was thriving now-one week later. This year, I planted tomatoes, a few leftover seeds of dill from last year, sweet peas, spinach, red leaf lettuce, hot banana peppers and habanero peppers that Dustin brought back from Hungary sometime in the late nineties or early 2000's I think, basil and coriander. They are all lined up on the kitchen windowsill and moved during the day according to much sun they like or don't like. D thinks I sort of garden haphazardly, but what he doesn't realize is that I've read all the directions and have tailored my care for the various seedlings based on them. For example, peppers need heat, according to a bunch of websites and their packages, so I've been keeping them on top of my heat pad (the one intended for my bum knee) to make sure they're warm enough. I turn it on and off through the day and night since the peppers and heat pad reside on my nightstand (so I can monitor the heat). They are also directly in the window so when the sun starts to go westward, they're perfectly positioned and warm. Some of the things I'm growing are heartier and don't need as much time and attention and care...etc. What it comes down to is this: every single pot I've planted something in has green seedlings or small stalks coming out of it. When I say every single pot I really mean it. Imagine my surprise when I began transplanting the large enough seedlings to separate pots that I thought were empty only to find that the basil I was pretty sure wasn't sprouting had, indeed, sprouted three times. Exactly! Pretty awesome.

So now I have spent half the day gardening, transplanting and watering and a small portion of my day reveling over how successful our vermicomposter seems to be so far. When we left, D and I put in a ton of garbage (knowing we probably shouldn't, but also not wanting it to sit around until we got back). If worms have TOO much garbage in there, they try to escape. If they have too much water they try to escape, too. Apparently, there are a lot of things that upset worms and make them want to leave and, somehow (knock on wood), we have managed to avoid doing any of the things they hate. When we left, the compost was pretty high up and we hadn't bought any worms. Instead, while I gardened, I took the worms I found, collected them in a plastic cup, and tossed them into the compost bin every ten minutes or so. We were supposed to buy them, according to the websites we read, but we couldn't find a bait/tackle shop around here and didn't want to spend a whole lot of money so we threw caution to the wind, crossed our fingers and collected the worms from the garden.

Lo and behold, the compost smells only like dirt rather than smelling rotted from the spoiled food we tossed in a week ago, no worms have tried to escape from any of the holes, there are no worms in the bottom basin of the compost and the amount of stuff inside the compost seems to have gone it's not as high up in the bin as it was. We took this to mean success?

Only time will tell...but so far this spring seems to be off to a good to correct the 20 essays I should've corrected over spring break. I need another spring break just to get over the last one! never ends.


1 comment:

  1. Glad to have you back! Proud of your gardening success, too. I'm pretty stoked because my clematis that I thought I killed last autumn, has buds on it, and is almost a foot tall. A week ago it was barely poking through the dirt! I used to not care much for spring, with its pale colors and mud and capricious weather, but the older I get, the more fevered I get when the days lengthen and the plants awaken.