Planting Season

It's that time of year again. With the weather warming up, we are prepping for our balcony garden. It's a bit late to be honest, but in my mind, better late than never. I love gardening because it generates fresh food (obviously) and provides a source of weekly science lessons with Merle. She grows more inquisitive by the day and explaining to her how plants function is much easier with an actual plant. Starting a plant from seed and watching it grow, is also gratifying even if there isn't a child around. I feel like gardening is one of the few areas in life where you are more or less guaranteed to have a positive outcome (plant growth), by putting in time and energy. Positive affirmation is good in all forms, including the green variety.

A couple of weekends ago, we planted our seeds. Because we use mostly edible plants, I use a mixture of Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting mix and organic fertilizer, which is predominately made of bone meal. If I had compost, I would use that instead of the fertilizer. Using a cut up liter soda bottle fashioned into a trowel, I mixed together the two soil components and scooped the mixture into these adorable mini pods from a dollar store. Other inexpensive options include empty egg cartons and/or egg shells. Merle enjoyed helping with the scooping, but was a bit squeamish about getting dirt on her. She is a city kid after all :) 

After distributing the dirt, Merle was tasked with making a hole in each pod for the seeds. One hole in and she was ready to have her finger cleaned. Instead I made the rest of the holes and had Merle drop in the seeds. That part she enjoyed. This year we are doing tomatoes, bell peppers, mesclun lettuce, green beans, peas, basil, rosemary, and chives. After dropping the seeds in, we gave the soil a good soaking of water. The pots were transferred to a tray and onto a sunny windowsil. We're beginning to see a few sprouts now! Merle is beyond excited that her plants are growing. She likes to push the plants around in her stroller and talk to them. It's pretty cute if you ask me. I'm looking forward to the months ahead of working on our little balcony garden with Merle.

P.S. If you're just getting started, check out my 5 lessons learns about urban gardening post from last summer.

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