The front and back yards are tangles of heirloom vegetables and wildflowers of many different types, and that draws a lot of butterflies, especially the large yellow tiger swallowtails.
Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) and various varieties of sunflowers dominate about half the area with full sunlight, with cosmos, coneflowers, and zinnias making up most of the rest, at least as far as annuals.
Note that all of those flowers are warm yellow, orange. and red colors, and so it’s a little dazzling on blue-sky days, especially with all the large butterflies flying around.
Going into this, I explained to my son that we had several challenges and unknowns and that the goal for the first year might be merely to raise enough seed for next year, preferably enough seed that we could sow it in a thick tangle with enough left over in case a late freeze killed the first round of seedlings.
We did much better than that, at least for most things.
We had a gallon of tiny tomatoes about every 2 to 3 days and a good supply of peppers too, more than we could eat and dehydrate easily.
We managed to get about two quarts of black beans for seeds, and the Chinese brown cotton made enough for seeds too.
On the other hand, the rabbits killed the squash plants by chewing the bases of the plants, and so we only got a few scalloped squash and zucchini.
The corn was a complete loss in spite of growing very well. The squirrels ate it all.
We aren’t using any pesticides on our plants. We aren’t shooting the squirrels, although I have explained to my son that in a time of hunger, we wouldn’t have to worry about them because they would have already seen the inside of a pot.
Germination Room 1: Formerly Known as the Dining Room
Instead of buying plastic germination trays, I wanted to show my son how to reuse recycled materials like cardboard and the rolls from toilet paper in some totes on loan from the warehouse. Continue reading “Seedlings”