My seeds are here! My seeds are here!
1. Create a seed-starting and sowing chart: did this yesterday. I based it loosely around the seed-starting chart Gayla Trail provides on her website. Here’s what the first page of mine looks like.
The second page lists dates to direct-sow seeds that don’t need to be started indoors. This was a very fun way to spend a frigid Boxing Day afternoon: dreaming and planning for veggies, herbs and flowers!
2. Buy some shoplights and growlights. The plan for now is to start the seeds in the basement, where it’s warm, and install some fluorescent and full-spectrum lights under a shelf to coddle them.
We’ll see how this goes over with the cats, and whether my precious seedlings become a kitty salad bar.
And speaking of cats…
3. Figure out what to do with the catnip. I had this idea: I was going to grow a cat garden – catnip, lemongrass, wheat grass, catmint, etc. – and maybe then the cats would play in their own garden and leave mine alone. However, given that my neighbourhood is the #1 Stray Cat Ghetto in Montreal, I soon realized that this is not a good idea unless I want more turf wars on my lawn and more scarred cat corneas. (Although if I grow enough catnip, maybe they’ll just all get along, man.) So I’m not sure what to do with my packet of catnip seeds. Maybe I’ll grow a little pot (heh heh – pot, get it?) of them indoors and keep it out of reach unless they deserve a special treat.
3. Buy, build or scavenge an adjustable shelf setup to put under the grow lights so the pots can be shifted away from the grow lights as the seedlings grow taller.
4. Buy, build or scavenge planters. We have poor clay soil, much of which is used by the kitty residents, strays, and wildlife (including a monstrous family of raccoons) as a litter box. I also have no idea what will come up in the garden in the spring except that it will include armies of gooseneck loosestrife (love!) So for this year, and perhaps permanently, my vegetable garden will be in containers.
5. Buy protective structures. See “kitty residents,” “strays” and “monstrous family of raccoons,” above. Add “squirrels” and “swarms of Hitchcockian birds.” At the very least, chicken wire will be necessary.
6. Buy seed-starting soil, potting soil, various organic fertilizers, and maybe a wheelbarrow. No one said this gardening racket was cheap.
7. Continue to collect seed-starting containers.
8. Pray for an early spring (one that has nothing to do with global warming, of course.)
Am I forgetting anything?