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As some of you know, I much prefer bartering to straight cash. Sometimes those barters come in the form of a store card. If people have nothing to trade (or don’t want to — I get it) I’m good with that as a Plan B.

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The most recent hardware store card (I want to say from last November? It WAS for mending) got spent on things for the garden, including four packs of sweet peas. I’ve harvested pods from the last six year’s worth of plantings but decided that this year an infusion of ‘new blood’ might be in order. I keep dried spice jars and lids (reformed CRAFT hoarder that I am) for all sorts of future projects — this is a temporary project I guess — but trimmed that number to six today as seventeen seemed like an awful lot to have one hand ‘because they might be good for something someday’.

I was taught to soak sweet pea seeds for at least a day before planting in compost filled paper towel or toilet paper tubes. No reason to mess with that! To keep track of which new seeds were which, I cut off the top and bottoms of the seed packets and slid the water and seed filled spice jar inside.

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I did take a few pods from last year’s sweet peas and those are in the jars with the homemade labels. I left the lids open so as not to create opportunities for bacteria and such to grow. The original lids are useful when it comes to draining off the water the next morning. Open the bit with the tiny holes and the water comes out while the seeds stay in.

Because, you know, I’ve never accidentally poured some seeds down the drain or anything.

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Leftover bamboo skewers plus trimmed down packets make for labels for the planted sweet peas. If I don’t get ’em all planted today I’m good with leaving the damp seeds a few days so long as I keep the lids open and give the jars a shake to keep the seeds from sticking together.

Because, of course, that’s never happened before.

I’m a little late in planting sweet peas this year but I can’t see it mattering too much in the long run. Eight dozen tubes are the first occupants of the greenhouse this year.

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My help at one of my Auntie’s charity luncheons Tuesday yielded me a terrific meal, interesting conversation with retired bankers (really!) and two plants, which I potted up in spare galvanised steel pots to keep with the currently monochrome color scheme of the office. The tete a tete daffodils can go outside for next year while the primula will probably be quite happy as is for a few years.

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