Sunday, March 21, 2010

Have you started your garden yet?

Yes, it's time, and if you are like me, your fingers are itching to be digging through the warm soil, breaking up clumps and adding amendments to make it nice and rich for all the little plants you started indoors. While it may not be warm enough to play in the dirt yet, and for those who are ready to chastise me for not wearing gloves while digging around rest assured that when I'm adding the compost and steer manure you bet I use gloves!
Starting a garden doesn't have to be expensive and you don't need fancy equipment. Empty salad tubs from Costco, recycled 4 and 6 packs from the nursery, toilet paper rolls, meat trays from that pack of chicken and those steaks you bought last week, all can be used to start seeds. In order to keep track of what is planted in what I use clothes pins with the names of what I planted written on them. I've tried writing on the sides of the nursery packs but it washes off. Now, a warning to those with little children, they will move the clips around so watch for In the top tub with the little packs I wrote on the outside of the tub. The toilet paper rolls were cut in half. The nice thing about these is that once you are ready to transplant you can put the whole thing in the ground and it acts as a root protector from pests that like to chew on them. You can also add another half roll on top when they go outside to help protect from creepy crawlies that will chew through the stems and ruin a good plant.
I planted all these seeds last Monday the 14th, and have half of my little crop up through the soil, yay! The fastest growing are the asian greens such as the baby pac choi, and joi choi, as well as the mesclun mix and even my basil is up and going. I started all of these in window areas, but when it's warm enough outside you can move them outdoors. What I like about the salad tubs or anything with a clear lid is that they will act like a mini green house outside and also protect your seedlings from the elements. If you are still getting temps in the 30's at night move them indoors though or all your work could be wasted. This week I will be looking at attacking the soil and beds, cleaning up things and perhaps adding soil amendments. If you want a good source for seeds go to the Vesey's link I have to the right. There are a lot of companies out there that have great seeds. I would warn you about Wally worlds seeds though. They aren't the best quality and often don't even germinate so avoid box store brand seeds. Call your local nursery if you have any questions and they can tell you what seeds and so on work well in your area. If I've left anything out feel free to add to my comments. Now, let's get planting!


  1. Wow Sheryl ... you've inspired me. Not a whole lot grows here, but I think I'll try something (any suggestions for HOT & DRY?) And about your hands in the soil - actually, I've heard that it's very, very good for us. Something about the minerals in the soil and our bodies .... ??? I don't know - it sounded a bit "out there", but very intriguing. I think there's something to all of that kind of stuff. After all, we're organic too.

  2. Hi Denalee! Now is a good time to try salad stuff such as lettuces. Here's a link to the garden calendar for your area.
    I would do a google search for tips on gardening in your area. Nurseries are very willing to help with that as well so if you have one locally give them a call as they can best tell you what works at what time of year where you are. I'm excited for you! I hope you can get some things going and will share photos when you do!