Ever hear a vehicle slow down outside your window and go on high alert worried they might be turning in your driveway? When they drive past you breathe a sigh of relief. If, on the other hand, they turn in you let loose a string of cuss words a sailor would be proud of.
Okay, maybe it’s just me! I admit I’m not a morning person. When I wake up, I stumble downstairs blindly feeling for the coffeemaker. If I’m lucky most of the coffee lands in my cup and I shuffle into the office. I’ll turn on the computer and start going through emails and making my “to do” lists and just like that I’m sucked in and typing off instructions, researching problems, and working away. Still in my pajamas!
I’m telling you this because FedEx has just pulled up and yes, I am in my best raggedy old PJs with morning hair. Normally, I do what any sane person would do. I turn off the office lights and crawl under my desk and hide. Sometimes I switch it up and press myself up against the wall or do a somersault roll behind the couch waiting for them to leave. All the while holding my breath, because surely the driver has supersonic hearing and can hear me breathing.
Today, however, I run for the door and impatiently wait for him to amble up the sidewalk.
“Hey, Ella, looking good!”
Yes, even delivery men think they are Dane Cook. At first he was surprised to see me. He is used to leaving packages at my door where I crawl out of hiding and shamefully grab the package after he is long gone.
Slowly a knowing smile spreads across his face, “Spring seeds huh?”
He has been my delivery person for the last five years and he is used to this Spring ritual.
“Thank you, you can leave now!” which he does amid his own laughter.
Honestly, I’m okay with my shame because today the seeds that will be sowed in the garden have arrived which means I’ll be back in my garden soon. Unfortunately, the greenhouse will not be done in time to start any seedlings this year. I will have to buy my tomato and other plants later.
Not all garden seeds are created equal. As I have already told you, probably too many times, I am an organic gardener and planting only certified organic seeds is part of that. Conventional seeds are treated with fungicide, insecticide, or a combination of both. Now do not get me wrong some chemicals are necessary. Some insecticides, for example, are used to combat human and animal diseases. Other chemicals protect the seeds themselves.
Organic seeds can still have some chemicals, but I take some comfort in knowing they must be treated with only allowed substances found on the National List of Allowed Substances. I try to do what I can where I can. Once the seeds are planted, however, I never use synthetic fertilizers or other chemicals. Instead, I invest in heavy work gloves and a study hoe.
Organic seeds rely on healthy soil for growth. Keeping the ground in top condition is very important. Every year I turn and rake the soil awakening it from its winter sleep. I then work in natural fertilizer by clearing out the compost bin that has been cured for two years. Organic material mixed into the soil is key in providing a solid start for organic seeds. The roots will seek out the nutrients found in organic material providing a strong healthy plant. Additionally, it feeds the earthworms who are busy aerating the soil.
Organic matter should be as diverse as possible. I often use grass clippings, cured compost, leaf mold, and manure. Be careful if using manure. Fresh manure will burn your plants. Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, you will be eating poop? Manure is a great source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, but until it has time to decompose it is also rich in bacteria. Just remember the recent issues with romaine lettuce. Can anybody say E.Coli?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get dressed, Because even I start to feel bad about myself if I stay in my pajamas too long. – Ella💙