The Garden Season Begins!

My first garden project of the season is up and running! The handsome gentleman pictured here is Max. He’s started on a grand adventure fixing up an old house he bought in Superior, WI, and has graciously agreed to let me go mad scientist on his yard. We’re teaming up to attempt to grow the awesomest gardens possible at his and my parents’ places. Our first project of the season is seed starting shelves complete with grow lights. We don’t have a good picture of the full shelves but they are 6 feet tall with 3 shelves and and two bulb florescent light fixtures on the two bottom shelves. Max drew up the design and measurements from scratch. Despite significant unresolved challenges getting the shelves level in an ancient sinking house, we assembled the shelves just in time to start our first batch of seeds: two types of onion, chamomile, and winter pansies.

Poor Max might not have fully realized how obsessive a planner I am at heart, but he’s being a great sport going along with my extensive spreadsheets and constant reworking of the garden design. I’ll be the first to admit some of our plans are potentially a little over ambitious. We are growing at least two varieties of nearly every crop to find varieties we like; attempting to seed save from as many varieties as possible (even some varieties that cross more readily like corn and brassicas); building new infrastructure like raised beds and cold frames at both sites; converting lawn to garden, experimenting with sheet mulch and other techniques; and attempting to practice good companion planting. Like I said, it’s a lot, but my thinking is that some elements are bound to fail, change, or get postponed until later years, but if we are ambitious and plan ahead at least a few elements of super awesomeness should make it through to the end of this season.

After finishing our shelves and the getting our first starts set up, we rewarded ourselves with a sea glass picking expedition on the shores of Lake Superior, enjoying the last dramatic crusts of ice while we can. Aren’t our pups adorable? ;P

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