I don’t feel it is an exaggeration to write that the recent warm weather has been like a miracle to me. Last year winter lasted long after it was welcome, and I was worried we’d spend another six weeks gripped by freezing cold.
After the disappointment of Fan Fest I have been struggling with a sense of futility. Jerk Brain has been having a field day, telling me all the ways in which I suck and am a failure. I’m having a hard time combating all the negativity. It feels like my well of optimism has dried up.
So on Tuesday, when we went grocery shopping, I added two more items and two more stops to our list. First we swung by the Home Depot and picked up a bag of soil. Next we hit the Dollar Store and picked up a couple of bags of accent stones. We hadn’t planned on starting seeds until next week. But the warm weather signaled it was time to do something productive that would shut Jerk Brain up.
All winter long I have been collecting empty toilet paper rolls, plastic containers, egg cartons, plastic bags, and other items I could use in gardening. I have quite a collection by now; it takes up several shelves in the workshop. I laid newspaper down on the dining table and set to work.
I made starter pots from the toilet paper rolls. The instructions I first followed has you taping the bottom closed, but I found that folding the cut edges together works just as well and then you don’t have the added step of pulling the tape off when it comes time to plant. In those I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, honeymoon melons, bell peppers, hot peppers, marigolds and zinnias.
The egg cartons help hold the starter pots upright. I spaced them out after learning the hard way that mold can grow if they are touching.
I also started some lemon seeds (because of Pinterest) and ginger. I repotted some houseplants and started cuttings of more. I planted three pecans that I gathered from a neighborhood tree last fall. I hope at least one will sprout so that we can plant it in the front yard. Finally, I started two containers of trumpet vine from seed, again collected from a plant in the neighborhood.
All of the seedlings went into plastic bags to start them. When it was all said and done, I didn’t make much of a dent in my collection, there’s still numerous cans, yogurt containers, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls and more. I have to pick up more seeds, as well. But it is a good start.
The whole effort took a couple of hours. Hours where I didn’t worry about how we would get by. Hours where my Jerk Brain didn’t give me grief. If the weather can continue to warm, I can start some outdoor work next week. I’ll keep moving, keep planning, keep working: using what we have, doing what we can. Maybe I’ll find my optimism sprouting as well.