My Thumb is Chartreuse

The awesome news is that we have garden beds:


The less awesome news is that for four straight nights, and after a robust imitation of Spring that caused all the trees to bud, we’ve had frost.

Good thing I didn’t transplant my sprouts.

Here they are, these precious babies that I planted six weeks ago:


Don’t ask me what they are, though. When I first planted the seeds in little pots, I labeled them with cute signs. Then I repotted and my Annie wanted to “help oo” and I lost track of what plants went with what signs. So if you recognize any of my sprouts, feel free to comment. The choices are: cucumbers, tomatoes, lavender and snap peas. Good luck.

I have never started a garden from seeds before. In So Cal, we just went to Lowe’s the first weekend in April that was sunny and hot and bought six inch plants. But we’re in Oregon now and everyone else was buying tiny peat pots and planning out a planting calendar and it made me feel behind.

I asked my cool neighbor Julie, who grew up on property, for pointers. She suggested a grow lite or a grow pad or something. Or possibly both, because she grows her seeds in the garage. I didn’t listen closely to that part because I thought “I’m only growing four things and they can live on the dining room table”.

What I did not foresee was that in the roughly twelve weeks before planting, the seeds would outgrow the tiny little peat pots and need bigger ones. So I went from 36 two inch peat pots which took up minimal space, to 36 four inch peat pots.

Which take up more space.

I also did not reckon on—that’s right, reckon on—the fact that Lizzie the Hound would be uncontrollably attracted to the potting soil.

Which led to the demise of four pots and some ugliness in the dog run for about a week.

At first it was too cold for the plants to be outside at all. Every afternoon I just moved them into the sun spots in the dining room. Then we had a stretch of warm, sunny weather. So every morning I carried them out to the patio and every evening I had to remember to carry them back in.

Which I didn’t, not every time. Some awfully cold nights, I forgot about them.

On Sunday, my English mother-in-law, she of the genetically gifted forest green thumb, asked with a sly smile how my plants were coming on.

By the time I was done describing the last six weeks, she was chortling gleefully into her white wine. Then she slammed her hand down on the table, looked at me from under her raised eyebrows and said—you can only do this justice in your head if you hear an English accent mellowed by 36 years living on Maui—“Why on earth did ya start with SEEDS??? Just go ta Home Depot and BUY THE SIX. INCH. PLANTS!”

Yes, mum. Right away. Mahalo.

I’m not giving up on my seeds, though. We’re going to plant them in one of the beds and see what happens next.

3 thoughts on “My Thumb is Chartreuse

  1. This weather is crazy, right? My neighbor always buys plants and has a ready-made veggie garden; I like to plant seeds so I can see them pop up out of the ground. But then again, they buy their food processed, frozen, or canned, so I can see why they don’t connect with the whole growing process. I don’t even know why they have a garden anyway; no one cooks, they only nuke. Fingers crossed yours make it through this cold snap!

    1. Yes! The moms up here–some of whom have farms–really believe in the importance of understanding where the food comes from and the effort it takes to grow or raise it. And they want their kids to know, too. To have that respect for food. It’s important.

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