Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

The countdown to seed liftoff

Posted by: Martha Buns under Seed starting, Vegetables Updated: May 9, 2012 - 8:38 AM


"Seeds emerge in 7 to 14 days." Those words on the side of the seed packet are among the most hopeful phrases I know. It's a packetful of promise of suppers to come.


Every day I check for signs of tiny seedlings, waiting for that first day there's a glimpse of green, wondering at first if it's only a bit of tree leaf debris before deciding -- yes! -- it's the first brave seedling just at the surface waiting to unfurl. Oh, and there's another one! And another .... Finally the wobbly rows show themselves, arriving promptly within that promised seven-to-14-day window.

I stand back and savor that triumphant moment for a bit, before all the propping and picking that seem far less magical. Then I grab the netting to protect my little darlings from the rabbit's little darlings.

And some 61 days later, when I've almost forgotten to look, I'll accidentally realize it's harvest time, when the shriveled pea seeds have completed their magic transformation into plants loaded with -- I hope -- plump pods. That will give me plenty of time to ponder my staking options. I planted a fairly low growing variety  haven't tried before, so I'll have to see whether they warrant staking.

Do you stake your peas or let them fend for themselves? If you do, what's your favorite way to support pea plants? And what seedlings are emerging in your garden?

Can't wait to plant my beans and cucumbers and start the anticipation countdown again.

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