Having a dog in your life is much like gardening.
During the winter you need to prep and research which plants you want to grow, which plants you will be successful in nurturing, depending on their needs. Of course check out the reviews from previous buyers and their opinions too because there's nothing worse than seeds that don't germinate.
Then you need to consider your planters and the housing for your seedlings, the compost, the fertiliser and whether or not you will need seed starter pods dependent on the species of seed.
And of course because of caring about the environment and the whole purpose of growing plants consider whether your going to have ethically sourced seeds, recycled cells and containers or whether your just going to go for standard plastic and the cheapest seeds on the market.
Then come late winter you need to begin sowing your seeds, and pretty soon your house begins looking like a British Garden Centre. Because they have to stay indoors whilst germinating and wait for the last frost.
Then your met with more problems of careful planning because some seeds need soaking for 12/24 hours before they can be sown.
Once the last frost has come and depending on the seed and how strong they are, you then need to prick them out and transplant them to a larger pot or a grow bag, or a pot and then onto a grow bag later and consider if the plant will need training, so then you need to work out a frame or bamboo sticks and twine to hold them whilst they grow.
And it still isn't over after all of this, you have to prune dead leaves to encourage more healthy growth and for fruit based plants to encourage the fruit. Water them, ensure they are in the correct lighting position or move them if needed and care and nurture your beloved plants.
Just like dogs some seeds and young plants will need more support and care than others, some will be independtly strong from sowing and thrive. Some will produce fruits and flowers and some will not.
However, when you see the weak seed you don't give up or write it off, you keep plugging away trying to maintain and establish this seed that seems to be struggling.
You may need extras, like fertiliser or special plant foods or liquid gold to help this weaker plant. Because your determined to see your project through.
Just like raising a dog.
It can be so easy to become disheartened, feel like you have failed or that your not enough for your dog. It's easy to think that your dog is taking over your home, just like the seedlings before they can move outside.
However, the relationships which are nurtured and the ones that challenge us and make us work harder, research more, consult Professionals are the ones that will give us the most.
I know its a strange analogy to refer to growing plants in comparison to dogs but some people like analogies and comparisons in an easy and relatable way to understand the situation.
I'm growing all of these plants for my dogs and animals to have home grown vegetables in their foods and also for enrichment. And throughout the process and including the Dogs in the process, it's easy to see comparisons in something that seems so drastically different but also the same.
Image description: first photo is a 24 cell seed tray, each cell filled with compost and white labels down the left hand row of the tray.
Second photo is of a tupperware tub with water and seeds in soak in their packets.
Third photo is of a tupperware tub with water and seed starter pods in soak, some beginning to expand.
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