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I am a lot of things. I am a girl (who loves her recently acquired Strawberry Margarita shellac manicure!). I am a daughter and sister. I am a lover of Christ who’s learning to be less of a “hater” of those who don’t know how to make left turns. Of all the things that I am, however, the thing that pops up quite a bit though is that I’m a certified public accountant (otherwise known as a CPA). If I tell this to someone older than forty or so, they’ll laugh and say something like “Ah, a bean counter, huh?” I just nod my head. Not only because it’s true because of my profession but because it’s really true because of my hobbies. Particularly this summer.

It’s been a highly anticipated summer. As you know, last summer wasn’t the best as I learned the importance of using the just right amount of water on my oh-so-precious starts. In the fall, I was ready to try growing from seed and enjoyed the benefits of our cold and wet autumn (I literally didn’t have to do anything and reaped tons of bounty). The only bummer? I was so stubborn in my hopes that my organic broccoli would grow thicker that I accidentally let it flower and then go to seed:

Whoops!

My apparent lack of skill, waning confidence and nagging envelopes led me to consider throwing caution to the wind and starting my summer crops from seed to minimize the financial impact of potential failure. Below is a quick timeline (mostly in pictures – hooray!) to bring you sweet HBH friends up to speed in the garden. A special thank you to my friend, Carrie, who’s housewarming gift has served as a faithful guide over the last few months.

MARCH

March – Not much on the short list of the PNW Produce Calendar this month.

March didn’t bring stellar weather. Instead, it brought new merchandise to Fred Meyers, my favorite store evidently. It also brought what I learned to be not so great seed sales, however, I was an eager beaver and wanted to at least be prepared to start my seedlings because I knew I would have to live up to the Girl Scout motto and “Be Prepared.” So I did some extensive soul-searching at the Ballard store and left with three packets. Read on to find out which ones those were…

APRIL

April – the list is getting a little longer.

In April, my other Carrie P. friend (seriously!) came over for lunch and I grilled her about gardening. She’s been growing things forever and loves talking about plants. I shared my “starting seed” plans with her and she read the seed packets and told me to wait until May to start them in order to avoid the wetter months. She assured me I’d have a great crop in September if I held my horses.

So, in the interim, I cleaned up the “garden”:

I should have saved some seeds for this fall. : )

I’m still amazed what delicate root systems these veggies actually have!

Up close.

There was a bit of weeding.

MAY

May – the sun was starting to say hello.

I really held my horses and waited until late May (perhaps the 31st or something like that) to start my seeds. However, since the calendar ordained that starting my particular seeds were still ok to be planted, I didn’t worry (much).

So, what seeds did I pick to comprise the Veggiepalooza of 2012? Here you go…

I chose the french green beans because they came in a bush variety and I actually eat quite a few dishes with blanched green beans during the summer.

The yellow squash was all about redemption. I will grow more than one yellow squash! Or else!

And the thyme? I’m frankly tired of spending two bucks to use one teaspoon at a thyme time.

With the seeds at the ready, it was time to start. I had read about the easy and little seedling stations I could create. I was just too busy though to worry about finding a good space in the house to keep a light on all day. So, I opted for this little gem:

Jiffy Professional Greenhouse

Starting my seeds was as easy as:

1) Placing the desired number of pellets. I put two seeds in each pellet (excluding the thyme) and planned for 8 green bean, 6 yellow squash, and 2 thyme starts.

2) Adding warm water.

3) Placing the seeds, and…

4) covering then placing the greenhouse in a sunny spot.

Come back next week to see what happened/is happening in June and July!

Are you growing anything this summer? Tell me (and other HBH friends) about it!

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