Ready for Spring Gardening?

by Tina Shake

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Yes, spring has sprung. I know this because this morning I awoke from my winter hibernation. I threw back the cheese puff encrusted blanket, slipped my little tootsies into my favorite pink fuzzy slippers and slowly made my way toward my picture window. Yes, it was official. Robins were playing tug a war with the worms, and little bunnies were hopping down their bunny trails. It's officially time to begin. I'm going to plan my garden! Well, maybe after a little nap. I'll just get back under my blankie for a little while and do a little mental planning.

The first thing on my agenda is to find as many paper coffee cups as possible to use as plant starters. You can go to a warehouse store and buy gazillions, or maybe you can sweet talk the convenience store owner into giving you some. But do not, I repeat do not, stalk the customers. Do not carry a box of medical grade gloves and ruffle through trash cans for trendy cups. Paper cups are nearly impossible to disinfect. They will just fall apart and make such a big mess. At least, that's what I "heard."

Every year our little town has a gardeners' contest, you know, to make the community beautiful and call attention to the talented artist/gardeners such as myself. So, over the cold winter, in between snoozes, I graphed out a 10-foot by 10-foot garden.

I put little drops of Elmer's glue throughout the towel and carefully dropped seed in each dot of glue. After the towel was dry, I rolled it up and put it in a numbered plastic bag.

I'll lay down the towels to correspond with my finished graph into the prepared earth. My graph this year is the American Flag! You can also do a salad garden this way as well. Cover the seeds with compost or soil. Water well.

To start your own rosebushes, cut off a stem with a bloom and five leaves. Plant the stem with three of the leaves buried. Leave the remaining two leaves above ground and remove the bloom. Now water and put a glass canning jar over the stem. You will have a rose bush started lickety split! Here's an important tip: It is not wise to dress in combat clothes and do night time slithering through each neighbor's yards for a variety of rose stems. Apparently that is illegal, and some neighbors, the picky ones, might take your picture and plaster it in your town newspaper. Not that I've ever tried that, "no siree."

If you are concerned about pests like those cute little bunnies, try cotton balls soaked in vinegar. Some people take a 35mm film container with a hole in it to hold the balls. You will probably need more than one and have to check them occasionally to rewet them.

The bunnies do not like the smell; husbands do not like the aroma either. This can be a good thing if you think about it. Next time you want to watch your favorite girly movie, just put a few of these babies under their pillow. "Oh honey, I just can't get this darn vinegar off my hands. Why don't you sleep on the couch tonight while it wears off?" If he says he can not remember where the couch is, sprinkle your cheese puffs in a bread crumb trail fashion from the bedroom to the couch. He'll be like an old hound looking for the scent. "Look, babe, there's 'another' cheese puff over there! Wow it's my lucky day!" Remember that cheese puffs are your friends.

If you are like me, you want to save every penny that you can. That is why I've started collecting rainwater in a drum. It doesn't take long to accumulate a lot of nourishing water for your plants. I've redirected the guttering to drain the water off the roof into the drum. I was so proud of myself when I got this project completed!

Now that I have my plans firmly in place, and now that my soaps are over and I've had a few cheese puffs, it's time to get moving! I'll pick out my best go-to-town, queen-size polyester/spandex leggings and tube top and show the world that I mean business. Today is the day! No time like the present! Wait! Is that my favorite weather man on TV? I'd better wait until I see the forecast. Yes, I'll get up after the news.

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