Super Bowl weekend means one thing.
It's time to start seeding indoor plants.
Yes, I know, the University Extension and master gardeners say to wait until mid-March, but what do they know. I respect education, but I'm always suspicious of people who put "master" in their title. I know as much as anyone about covering North Mankato Port Authority meetings, but I don't call myself a master Port Authority meeting reporter.
And master gardeners like to lord their knowledge over you, saying things like "capsicum annuum" and "solanum melongena" instead of calling them bell peppers and eggplants.
Admittedly, my indoor gardening hasn't always gone as planned. We were going to try to winter over wave petunias this year.
I read about taking cuttings off the plant, putting the tips in rooting hormone, planting them in potting soil and waiting for the waves of color to begin.
I have two trays of dead petunias sitting in the corner, mocking me with waves of brown stems.
I think it could have been a problem with the rooting hormone. I'm not exactly sure how the hormone works but hormones make gardening sound kinda sexy.
I read about making your own rooting compound from willow tree branches and water, which could give me free root hormones and provide a use for the gigantic weeping willow tree in the backyard. My wife wanted the willow tree; she thinks they are romantic. Apparently, her idea of romance is watching me rake up willow branches and cussing.
In just a few years the tree took over most of the yard and it rains down branches after every wind. As one person looking at our willow asked, "So you planted that on purpose?"
I've threatened to cut down the monster, but I like being married. If the rooting hormone willow-water thing works, maybe I can start a small business selling it. I think the tree could still look romantic without any branches on it.
But today, we will be planting flowers, some lettuce to graze on in a few weeks and maybe even a few vegetables.
It's a great thing to mix with Super Bowl Sunday — game on in the background, chips and guacamole dip, a glass of wine and potting soil.
I'm in the office pool for the Super Bowl, a game you can bet on everything from the score to how long it will take soprano Renee Fleming to sing the national anthem. (Vegas odds makers put the over/under time at 2 minutes, 20 seconds.)
There's no reason you can't bet on gardening. It would allow bookies to introduce a whole new demographic to gambling.
Odds the weeds in your garden will be taller than and outnumber the vegetables by late June: 2/3.
Odds you won't exactly know what you're supposed to do with those kohlrabi that grow as large as softballs: 4/7.
Odds birds will eat most of your strawberries and raspberries just as they turn ripe, even with netting covering them: Even.
Odds zucchini will produce dozens of 20-pound squash daily, even if planted at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster: Guaranteed.
Tim Krohn can be contacted at email@example.com or 344-6383.