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I Garden Like a Squirrel, My Husband Gardens Like a Scientist!

What are some of Your Gardening Approaches?

That title pretty much sums up our gardening approaches. Squirrels and scientists. Random and exact.

Couple overlooking lake
Us. Do I look squirrelly?

One of us has a detailed list of plants; the other one gets many surprises! It all works out somehow, but we are so different in our gardening approaches!

Greg, my husband, the tomato-fanatic set out in November to make out his seed list. He got his seeds ordered and delivered by Christmas.

Me? I could not be bothered with seed catalogues. I did not open a single one until at least after Christmas. I knew if I cracked the cover, I’d be sucked in, and there was no way I could choose from all the temptations inside! So I let Greg order!

Tiny seedlings emerging in tray
Tiny seedlings

(See Favorite Seed Catalogues)

Now that we have the seeds, I’ve spent several slow Sabbath afternoons just thumbing through the beauty of the big Baker Creek Seed Catalogue. I got it for Greg, and it’s like the Sears Catalogue for seeds. I don’t look to buy, but to learn, marvel, and admire. On that, we can agree—we both look and dream together.

Baker Creek seed catalogue
Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalogue

The nuts and bolts of our gardening approaches

Greg is so organized! I won’t say that he’s a perfectly organized person in general, but with his seeds, he determined to keep a good record.

He got all this stuff, plus some more:

Greg very carefully made troughs and set out his seeds in little trays, with proper heat, gentle misting, and a lot of babysitting. They came up and he has a whole greenhouse full of happy plants! I’m amazed at his determination, and his success.

Planting seeds indoors in trays
Greg sowing seeds in the Winter

When transplanting, he soaks the roots, planted at the proper depth, and watches videos to learn the right way. He’s the scientist in his gardening approach. And his way works quite well.

Me? Sigh…

I’m afraid I’m just so random. I think I plant by my moods. My flower and herb beds are a mass of one color flowing into the next. I try to look at the height, color and form of my plants, and think of what I want it to look like someday. Where I see a hole, I poke in a seed or a plant. 🤷‍♀️

Flowers and herbs growing together
Herbs and flowers growing together.

Don’t get me wrong! I do spend time researching things, like which plants like each other (companion planting) and which ones don’t get along. So I make sure I don’t plant enemies if I can help it.

Friends and enemies

I probably get caught up in companion planting more than I should, but I find it so fascinating. Why plant tomatoes alone, when you can add basil and improve their flavor? Or nasturtiums, which sacrifice themselves while looking gorgeous! For me, companion planting gives me a great excuse to get more creative, but I’m afraid it probably does add to my squirrel tendencies. I’ve been known to discover a new companion, plant some seeds nearby, then later on weed them right up because I thought I’d remember planting them—and didn’t! What a squirrel! 🤦‍♀️

Yellow Nasturtium flower
Yellow nasturtium—just one of the many colors!

Seeds in my pockets

I often walk through our gardens with seeds in my pockets. When I see a spot, in goes a seed. I’ve literally poked squash seeds into nooks and zinnias into crannies. I will rescue an emerging seedling and move it to another spot, but forget doing it the next day. I think we just stay so busy that my mind doesn’t keep up with what my hands do!

Nasturtium seeds
Nasturtium Seeds I rescued and replanted.

One helpful thing I’ve found is the Picture This app, which I use extensively. When I find a plant in my garden that I can’t remember planting, I’ll scan it and see if it’s a weed or not. That doesn’t always help me to remember how it got there, just whether it’s a good plant or not.

Picture This app iPhone
Handy Plant ID app that may save a plant or two from destruction—if you use it!

I’m sure I lose plants. After all, since sometimes often I forget that I’ve planted them, then of course I don’t remember to water them. That’s a lot like a squirrel with his buried nuts. On the other hand, like a squirrel, I am often surprised with something I’ve forgotten that pops up out of nowhere, so I enjoy that!

Pink Morning glory
Volunteer Morning Glory in all its morning glory!

Which are you?

Squirrel, Scientist, or Something Else?

I’m trying to do better.

Ridge Haven Homestead
I am such a squirrel! Does that make me nuts?

I actually planted sunflower seeds in a little tray and transplanted them outside to replace the ones I that didn’t come up in the poor soil. They actually gave me a higher living yield, so I know that it’s probably better than the poke and walk away method. Still…I enjoy the creative side of burying a seed and checking back for it to emerge. So while I’m trying to reform, by using the tags, coming back to water, and not being so squirrelly, I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to completely rid me of the habit of sauntering through my gardens with a pocket full of seeds.

Poke!

I’d be delighted if you took the time to write a few words. I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️