Happy Ostara!

This weekend, we decided to celebrate Ostara by doing a bunch of gardening. We had a bunch of tomato seedlings that needed to be thinned out and transplanted and needed to expand our growing space to do that, so we decided to make a whole weekend out of it.

Our sales attendant was really purrrrrsistant.

The first thing we did on Saturday morning was to head down to Country Arbors Nursery to grab a pack of soil for transplanting the seedlings. I wanted to find something that was fairly responsible and organic, but our selection was limited, so we chose this Indicanja soil that seems to be formulated towards growing cannabis plants. I wasn’t sure how similar the needs of the plants we’re growing is to cannabis, so we checked with the staff at the nursery and they said that this stuff should work great for all of our vegetables too.

Ideally, I would love to get our soil from the compost pile that we have outside, but that’s still a project that is in need of a lot of love. Until we have our own decent compost pile, I think we’re going to have to rely a lot on local nurseries and the Urbana Landscape Recycling Center. I would have gone to the Landscape Recycling Center first since their compost is all local and in bulk but I’ve never been over there to know what their processes are like and we wanted to get started on this right away. Maybe I’ll go over there when the growing season kicks a little more into gear and see if I can at least fill up a bunch of 5 gallon buckets.

Ashe had a last-minute tattoo appointment after that, so while they got their arm stabbed, I started working on another garden project. Ashe found some plans on Facebook for a 3-tiered bucket planter and we decided that we’d try and build one since we already had a bunch of buckets from Andy’s restaurant job.

The plans didn’t have a really good description of how to divide the wood for maximum efficiency, so I had to do some quick maths to figure out where to make cuts in the wood. Then I measured and marked some of the lumber before going back into the garage and cutting it. It was a lot of work to move the lumber back and forth, so I only did a few boards before stopping for the day. I definitely need to get an area of the garage cleaned up so that I can do more of my work in the garage but that time will come. For now, this works.

After I got tired of doing that limited carpentry, I decided to move back inside to our growing area. I knew that if we were going to transplant all of our tomatoes, we’d need a bunch of space. When I started, we only had the middle shelf wired up with LED grow lights and we were using the other shelves for assorted storage. We had bought two more grow light kits throughout the week, so I decided to triple our growing area by lighting up the top and bottom shelves. I had a bit of trouble with the adhesive for the lower shelves, but so far, this setup is working nicely.

The last thing I did on Saturday before Ashe got home was to prep the materials that we needed to start doing the transplants. I figured that the less time we could spend prepping the day of, the more energy we would have to actually do transplants. So I put most of the soil we bought into a spare 5 gallon bucket and laid out a bunch of Jiffy peat cups that someone bought on clearance some year past. I’m glad I did this because when we got done transplanting all of the tomatoes, we were wiped!

On Sunday, Ashe and I did the transplanting of the tomato seedlings together. It took a little practice but we got into a really good rhythm where Ashe handled detangling the plants and placing them into the soil and the cups while I handled labeling and filling new cups with dirt for the most part. It took us a few hours, but we managed to get all of the tomatoes transplanted.

Here’s all of our babies after the transplants and in their new homes!

This week, we might try to transplant some of the other plants that are a bit overcrowded. We also are a bit behind on our seed starting schedule for the next round of plants which includes broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, other green, some new varieties of tomatoes and peppers, and even a watermelon! I can’t wait to get started on those as well. We might even have to expand the growing area even further.

3 Replies to “Happy Ostara!”

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