Create Serenity with the Seeds on Earth Day

organic-soil-and-seedsOne of my favourite ways to create my serenity is to dig in the dirt. I don’t mean run tonka trucks through the sand pile, although my grandson does get me going sometimes. I mean sink my fingers into the soil of Mother Earth and plant seeds, weed a garden, grow food and flowers and touch base with my inner gardener. I like to think I channel all the great Garden Divas who have passed on.  (It’s my serenity, I can make it any way I like.)

I was so excited when one of my daughters asked for help in the planting. What a beautiful excuse to step away from the computer and have some fun.

So we gathered the stuff we needed and set to work.

I’m pretty frugal when it comes to some of my supplies for gardening.  But there are a few tools and supplies that I don’t skimp on.  The most important two things I consider are my soil and my seeds.

I use organic soil for potting mix and I always buy Heritage Seed, not just organic.  Organic seed can still be GMO’d seed.  One of my favourite seeding trays is one I’ve had from Lee Valley for water-indicatoryears.  It’s the gray tray in the picture above.  It has a felt piece under the pods of soil that keep it wet all the time and the felt is wicking from a water reservoir in the bottom.  It also has a water indicator to let you know when it needs filling.  I find the seeds sprout in a few days and I transplant them quickly and start more seeds.

There are some pretty cool planting trays on the market these days.  Some of them cost a lot of money.  I have this mindset about growing my food:  I don’t think it should cost more to grow than to buy…so, like I said, I like to reuse and recycle to garden.

I have found that some of the containers that we get our food in already can be turned around and reused to grow again.

planting-in-recycled-containersLike this spinach container that now is planted with….well…spinach.  I planted it with about two inches of head space so the lid could fit with a sprout coming up.  I do leave a little space with the lid so air can circulate and the seeds don’t go moldy.  When these sprout, they will be transplanted into the garden because the weather has been so warm, the soil is already warm enough. I have used these for years and they’ve been really successful mini greenhouses.hinged-lettuce

 

We used a few other trays and containers as well.  One that worked out really well was this strawberry box.  It has a lid on a hinge and holes in the bottom for drainage.  I used a lid from another greens container for the drain tray.  This one is planted with a mix of lettuce.  They’re almost ready to transplant as well.

 

I usually have a plant stand in the house with three banks of grow lights, but this year, I’m trying without.  I know it will slow down the growth but I have great south and west light and I’m going to try that this year.  The big deciding factor for this was all this beautiful weather.  Now, I know, it’s Alberta and you can’t count on it, but it’s also a thing in my mind that we might not have the same season at the end….so I’m risking it.

saving-seeds

 

When my girls were young, we used to explore how to gather seeds from the flowers and vegetables.  I started saving them and now it’s become part of my fall routine in the garden.  I am always so blissfully surprised by Mother Nature’s ingenuity in designing the seeds.  I reuse my USANA supplement bottles to hold the seed.  In January, I pull out my seed bin and start dreaming.  Some flowers can be started this early, like geraniums.

tags-from-lidsOver the years, I have tried probably 25 ways to tag plants.  This is my all time fave.  It goes from seed to garden and will probably be the easiest to do.  I use old yogurt lids (Man there’s always an extra dozen or so) and cut them into triangles.  I label with a sharpie and voila!  You are set to go.

 

 

sprouts

Here are a few of the beautiful goodies that came up over the last week.  Time to transplant already!  The ones in the top left are Arugula…one of my faves and sure to be great as sprouts and salad greens.  I will reseed those pods afterward and start again with another plant.

I think I’m being very good at self restraint this year.  Usually I have more flowers than food, but since we’ve moved to the raised beds, I’m focusing on the food first.  Well, I did plant some marigolds and cosmos.  A garden is just not the same without them.

 

Last year, we moved all of our strawberry runners into the raised beds because there were so many.  This year we are rotating our strawberries and moving new plants into the old bed.  Quite a transition…but the berries!  A grandkid fave….and I was told in no uncertain terms that if I was to grow more of anything it should be that.  So…berries it is!

Rob is the best weeder in the world…as long as you want every single little green thing pulled.  It’s a standing joke that he has to be able to pick it completely empty so I make sure it’s all identifiable before he gets in there with his perfection in the details.  I have been so grateful to have the raised beds.  We build one or two each year and keep growing the size…which suits me just fine.  The more food we grow the better.

rob-weeding-gardenThis bed is in the south yard.  It has full light and great protection from the wind.  The trellis in the center is recycled cast iron railing from a friend and we have it strung to grow our cucumbers on it as a trellis.  We have a plastic hood that drapes over the railing and to the outsides of this bed so it becomes a mini greenhouse.  The fence around is to keep the bunnies out.  I plant carrots here too.

Growing food brings me serenity.  Every step is a connection to our oneness.  I feel the soil between my fingers, smell the earth as I add water and send Reiki to the seeds as I plant them.  It is an act of love that I do for myself and for my family and friends.

Serenity comes in many ways. Grow a plant…get connected.

Happy Earth Day!

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