April 25th is a date known in Portugal as Freedom Day. In 1974, military forces successfully overthrew Portugal’s dictatorial regime – the longest in Europe – in a relatively peaceful way (4-6 dead, no injuries). In fact, the day is also named Carnation Revolution. In downtown Lisbon, people left their houses to celebrate the end of the dictatorship, and carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army. I always found it strange that in Canada carnations are a popular ornamental flower. Carnations are now seldom seen in Portugal except when rebellion and uprising are implied. My sister was born on an April 25th and giving her a bouquet of carnations always seemed to fit her brainy and feisty nature.
Continuing on the flora theme, a few seeds have finally seen their way into pots during the weekend. Hot pepper, fennel, ground cherries, tomatillos, red cabbage, and broccoli were a few of the varieties. I have always used toilet paper rolls to start seeds but cutting and folding strips in the bottom each of them was a long process. Also, after a few weeks I would have to re-pot the seedlings and although the rolls are biodegradable I still felt the need to remove the seedling out off the thicker rolls.
This year I am trying a few different things including the regular plastic cells that came with some seedlings I bought 2 years ago, a greenhouse kit with biodegradable coconut coir pots that a friend gave me when she moved out of the province, and 1L yogurt containers. For the yogurt containers I drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage and seeded each one with 3 to 4 seeds. I am hoping that that I will not have to re-pot the seedlings until they are ready to be planted outside in our still-to-be-built raised beds.
I also brought home a few tomato, parsley and basil seedlings that a generous soul was offering on Freecycle. The little plants and plants-to-be are now happily settled on our homemade seed-growing station and that makes me a very happy gardener.