Monday, June 13, 2011

Planting Push

Everything I know about gardening starts with this: if you don't plant it, you can't harvest it. So this week I have resolved to just make a push and get everything in that has been languishing in the greenhouse.

The nice thing about having our own greenhouse is that we can start our own plants and start as many as we think we'll need, or more. The hard part is coming to terms with the multitude of little plants that are all ready at once to go in garden. So I sort the greenhouse and put like with like, and then we try to empty it out in waves.

OKAY. All you cucumbers! It is your day. Ready or not, get on the cart! Then there is an empty spot. Okay Peppers? You didn't think we would forget about you? Not for one second. Get on out there, we have a spot just for you! Three sisters? Yes you! If Class G is gonna harvest you in the fall, then you better get your sorry leggy leaves out to the big field! NOW! Hup to it!

Dutifully, all the plants get on the cart. They get their final dose of fresh water from the greenhouse hose, and then they get dragged away, soon to be yanked from their trays and tucked into the earth of the garden. No longer will they be crammed together in a tray with 72 or 200 of their own kind, instead they will be surrounded by space enough to grow big.

Of course, no one has told them about weeds and wind. Those poor plants have not been adequately prepared for the persistence of quack grass, the ubiquity of foxtail, or the sharp points of Canada thistle. There is no wind in the greenhouse either. Also, after a little watering in, the only water they can expect comes from the sky in the form of rain (better hope it is a gentle rain and NO HAIL PLEASE). Those little plants will take about a week to adjust to the new environment. Some won't make it, they will succumb to iron blight or cutworms or some nameless fungus that people refer to as damping off. Those who fall in the line of duty will be remembered, but they will also be swiftly replaced. Those who survive will be rewarded by regular weeding and fertilizer, and ultimately, a car ride to Lake Country School and then on to your homes and kitchens and bellies.

Today we sent the cukes, the peppers, the seed oil pumpkins, the zukes, all three sisters, and the bunching onions all to their fates. Produce or perish! Thanks to our friends, Jen, Konstantin, Pasha, and Gabriel for all their help today!

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