No, I'm not talking about my children, although they are hedging their way to the door way too quickly for my taste, but that's an entirely different story!
I'm talking about my little seedlings. They've been sitting under grow lights for weeks now, and I did my best to keep them watered, warm with just the right temps from the grow mats, but now it's time to take them outside.
As a newbie veggie gardener, I try to read as much as I can get my hands on, talk to as many experienced gardeners as I can, and then let nature do the rest. (While I keep my fingers crossed, naturally!)
But now, as we head into warmer temps, it's time to move them from their protected little world under the grow lamps to face the harsh realities of hardening off outside. But before you think me a heartless gardener, wait! Check out their new digs.
I bought this mini greenhouse from my local housewares store for about $20 plus tax, Trust me, this little greenhouse is well worth the money I spent on it. Especially since right now here in Oklahoma our temps are all over the place. One minute they're in the 80s during the day and then a storm front blows in with 50-mph winds and temps quickly drop to the 40s and that's all in one day! Yep! That's Oklahoma weather for ya!
As you can see, they're happy little veggies, all thriving and branching out, and soon it will be time to move them into bigger pots as I wait for the ground temps to reach above 50 degrees.
Now let me tell ya, I'm not a bettin' woman by any means, but ... something in my gut is tellin' me that although our days are unusually warm lately with temps hovering right around 80, I get this feeling that good old Mother Nature has one more cold front in store for us. So I'll be keeping my veggies in pots until I'm fully convinced we're having an early summer and not a late frost!
In the meantime, now that my first seedlings have been moved outdoors into the greenhouse, I've started my next batch of seeds. These are the ones like carrots and radishes that don't have as long of maturity dates as their counterparts like the zucchini's and beans.
Now I will say that being a brand-new veggie gardener, this whole timing thing is rather overwhelming. "When do I plant the tomatoes, what about the sunflowers; is it too early for the carrots and what about those marigolds, and did I actually leave enough space in the garden to plant all of these things?"
I tell ya, it's confusing trying to figure out who's on first and what's on second as Abbott and Costello used to say. So for me, it's slow progress. But I will say it's all been worth it so far!
Just to see the seeds sprout, watch their initial leaves turn into sets of two and three and then branch out to a degree that you need to transplant them into bigger pots. And as I recently found out, nothing is more relaxing when you're sicker than a dog with a month-long chest cold, than spending time transplanting your seedlings into larger pots while watching gardening shows on YouTube.
So while it's slow progress at the moment, my gut tells me that any minute, when Mother Nature stops throwing her temper tantrums with our weather, my veggies are going to explode!
Here's to warm weather and great gardening days to you and yours!
And don't forget to follow me at Sundays in the South.