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Seedlings + Getting Unstuck in March

by Margaret on March 30, 2011

Sometimes by the end of March I get stuck.

Stuck on what to cook.

What to eat.

What to wear.

It’s just that we are between almost spring and spring: spring is officially here, but I can’t officially feel it. Know what I mean?

So to get unstuck, I begin planning. Planning meals for inspiration. Planning my garden. Planning what color to paint my foyer (this project has been stuck on idle for months). And planning where to go hiking this summer.

Seedlings get my attention first.

Zinnias emerging

They’re doing well. Emerging from the soil and asking for a spritz a couple times a day.

The process of caring for them from now until mid-May when I’ll plant them outdoors, looks like this:

• Once the seeds sprout, you mist them with a spray bottle (to prevent drowning) and clip away smaller seedlings at soil level to avoid crowding.

• Keep that grow light turned on for at least 12 hours each day.

• When second set of leaves appear, transfer growing seedlings into a larger pot.

• As weather warms, maybe about one or two weeks before planting, harden off seedlings by introducing them to natural light and a fresh air outside for a few hours each day. Begin in the shade and gradually expose to direct sun.

Next, of course, is planting them.

Zinnias 4 weeks old

But I have a awhile yet. And if you have stalled on starting seeds, you have time. I may even start some leafy greens for a new window box that still needs to be built.

I’m kinda stuck on that one too.

But I won’t be for long. Because the next thing you know the weather will be warm and I’ll either have a new planter or not. And I’ll be eating spring peas, spring greens and asparagus so ideas for meals will be endless.

Basil, slow growing

So today I’ll take out a can of organic tomatoes (Trader Joe’s) and make tomato and goat cheese soup from a favorite cookbook that gets me unstuck when I don’t know what to cook: Lucid Food.

I’ll bake some bread too, and smear it with an herb butter (thanks again, Joy) that you’ll want lick right off your finger tips. I know I will.

Then, this weekend, I’ll paint my foyer China White (Benjamin Moore) and I’ll continue garden plans by turning my thoughts to soil.

Soil and soup, actually, because Soil Kitchen opens up in Philly, which is close-by. This temporary exhibit combines soup made from local ingredients and soil testing where free workshops include soil remediation, composting and lectures by soil scientists. There’s even cooking lessons.

By next week, I should definitely feel more connected. Turns out, weather will be warmer too, and maybe, just maybe, spring will unleash the Red Buds.

 

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