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With all of the varieties of plant specimens available you are sure to find something for every spot or style that fits your garden. Now finding the right plant can be a challenge. Most nurseries carry a variety of commonly known types and a few unique selections that entice gardeners to try. I find that if you scour the gardening catalogs you will find many unusual plants and ones that fit your needs.

Considering to start your plants and vegetables from seed may seem like a frustrating task or just feels like a big job you can do without. I have felt this way for many years back when I gave seed starting a try. Giving in to not so great results, I started reading and experimenting to see how this could work because I wanted to grow plants unavailable in the nurseries and stock up on plants that would be more costly if purchased.

Deciding to start perennials from seed is a great way to add volume to a garden, but in doing so; perennials can take a few years to mature. I choose to stick with annuals, vegetables and perennials that give the greatest impact sooner. Plants that require several years to start bearing flowers I go ahead and purchase them for some instant gratification.

Something I am always finding myself doing this time of years is deciding on how to go about starting seeds. Should I try something new? Perhaps over complicate something that is just seemingly simple. So this year I will be sticking to my favorite way to cultivate plants and forget about all those elaborate seed starting contraptions.

1-seed Pots | 2- soilless seed starting mix | 3- pearlite | 4- seeds

5- starter fertilizer | 6- plant markers

 

The photo above illustrates all of the supplies I use to start seeds indoors, with the exception of heating mats and grow lamps.

Based on a last frost date of May 15th this is what my seed starting schedule looks like. Everything will be in order for the first seeds to be started. Typically a month is sufficient in my “greenhouse” to raise plants ready for the outdoors. Plants quickly outgrow the little space I have for them and out they go into the cold frame.

Don’t be discouraged that a detailed how-to list is not included in this post. Once seeds are ready for planting there will be a step by step guide in a separate post. If you are planning wonderful things this spring for your garden, get ready, planting soon will begin.

Yes you read the title correctly. It’s about time to starting planning the gardens, but today I am discussing the importance of getting the vegetable garden planned out. Not only will hard work pay off, but the process of planting and maintaining a potager more enjoyable.

I like getting an early start, purchasing seeds and deciding what will be cultivated each year. Making selections early will guarantee the varieties you wish to grow are available. Already the piles of seed catalogs clutter the desk, eager to be flipped through. Doesn’t your mouth just water when you starting glancing through those catalogs?

 

Each year I map out where all of the vegetables will grow. I rely on previous years of drawings and notes to rotate crops and adjust; trying vegetables better suited for the garden.  A few years back I had a small kitchen garden off the side of my home, which was a real joy to have, but the voluminous amount of fresh vegetables I wanted to grow just didn’t happen. The problem was insufficient sunlight. So I looked into finding a proper location. I found a community garden site near my home and with much excitement dug in.

Here was my kitchen garden in the spring of 2007 outside my home. Spring cleaning was underway just in time for the pebble-stone path to be put in. Today this garden is pure flowers, better suited for this site.

Vegetable gardens require two major factors for optimal productivity, adequate sunlight; around eight hours and the other water. Soil does contribute to a gardens success, as long as it is friable and naturally fertile. Adding sufficient nutrients get things off to a good start. I rely on organic fertilizers for the best quality vegetables. A well-tended garden with regular applications of compost requires little additional fertilizer.

 

Let me just talk about how sunlight really makes a difference. Growing cutting greens at home I was able to cook up about five or six meals for two in one growing season, and in my community garden spot that gets sunlight all day, I was able to feed ten people each week for the entire season. That was huge in comparison to what I was accustomed too, but you are never short on friends and neighbors who are willing to take vegetables off your hands.

With all seed orders sent, I will be getting ready to clean up the garden and start seeds indoors. Remember, maintaining a garden whether for flowers or vegetables is a joyous thing and certainly worth all your efforts.

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