Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Planting More Food!

Went to Home Depot today in search of a (as in ONE, UNO) basil plant and a white eggplant I saw the other day. Maybe some sale annuals for attracting pollinators (see how easily these get justified now, instead of admitting "because I WANT flowers!" heh heh)

I put my blinders on and made it through the towers of bougainvillea on display and determinedly strode straight to the vegetable section. I just cannot spend a lot of money. The lavender was looking a bit too appealing. Hmmm. Maybe just one?

There were no white eggplants left, but there was some variety of green one. No other sorts of eggplants were on the rack. I dutifully put one in the cart. Green eggplants?

OK, so far so good...sorta. Then a lady parked her cart where I was trapped amongst the plants (there were no complaints :)), and I scrutinized some of the other green things. Look, cinnamon basil! In it went. Some other sort of basil. Well, sure!

"And now we're done, " I coached myself. The lamb's ears flopped innocently nearby, all fuzzy and clustered and needing a home. In one went. No, I need a clump. In went another.


I was getting happier by the minute. That's a huge warning sign. There's some short in my hardwiring between my gardening center impulses and my finance neurons. I tried to focus. I was Dorothy trapped in a field of poppies just before reaching the Emerald City. I was quickly succumbing.

Saved by the Big Gulp! Detour necessary, and not a moment too soon!

My head cleared as I made my way through the maze of aisles like a mouse on a mission. The further away from the gardening center I got, the more sensible I got. It's just a good thing we don't need replacement windows, updated light fixtures, or flooring, or I'd have been sunk. Am I A.D.D. in that place, or what?? I know it's a big conglomerate, but I have warm fuzzies husband and I feel like we're on a date when we're in there together. My daughter usually groans when we escape to Home Depot. She knows there's no guarantee we'll make it out. She's gotten really close to having to send in the canine search and rescue team before.

Thankfully, on the way BACK to the garden center, I saw the seed packet display, which is NOT located in the garden center (they know their market!). And that's when my heart did a little dance...40% off!! They certainly had basil, and eggplants...and so much more. And with the seeds I can get way more than what I would have for the price 1 or 2 live plants. I threw in some nasturtiums, cosmos, sunflowers, peppers, and all kinds of zinnias. THAT should take care of any "need" for companion planting for pollinators. Woohooo!!!

I bid adieu to the live plants. And escaped Home Depot with bank account AND conscience intact.

Now I have a LOT to plant. There are many things I've never tried to grow before, and I'd rather have the experience of trying from seed. It's already in the 80s here right now. There is just no good reason I can't wait a few weeks for seeds to sprout before I pop them into the ground, or whatever container.

On the way back, and after a grocery run, I circled the backside of the businesses looking for empty discarded boxes. I nabbed two great big box tops, much bigger than the flats I have at home that I'm using to sprout the lettuce. The box tops were waxed, too, so they'd at least bead off water a bit. I threw in a few more box finds and made my way home.

Several kinds of sweet peppers (all in one packet of seeds) are now planted in one of the cardboard box-top "flats," and four varieties of eggplant (again from one packet) are in the other, all moistened and tucked in for the evening.

I've run out of big pots, so if that's still the case when these little guys are bigger, I may just cut down boxes to the 8 or 10 inch level, fill with soil and compost mixed, and make neat rows of those. By the time the boxes decompose, hopefully the harvest will be over and the plant matter along with box can be used out on the area of ground where I'm using cardboard and brown paper grocery bags for a weed barrier. I like trying different approaches to see which is going to work. ALL of the approaches have to endure the Florida summer and fall, which means any extreme from Sahara drought to prolonged monsoon. Let's see what sort of weather this year will continue to bring. So far, it's getting hot and there's no rain.

My blog friends are inspirations, and I'm really grateful for their sharing their experiences and ideas, many of which I'm trying to implement. So that I can grow four different kinds and colors of eggplant, y'know. ;-)

It's funny...

I don't even know how to cook eggplant!

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