For singer-songwriter Diane Birch, music was a refuge. Although Diane was born in Michigan, her childhood was spent on the move as the daughter of a preacher, living between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia,...
Seed Planting 101
Now that your garden is underway and you’ve picked out a spot it’s time to plan what you will plant. There is a lot to choose from with literally hundreds of fruits and vegetable seeds out there, many heirloom verities to choose from also. If you have children definitely include them in the planning and growing phases. Children love to help out in the veggie garden and it encourages healthy eating plus they are more likely to eat what they grew themselves.
Growing by seed is much easier than many people think; it’s not only less expensive but you control what is fed to the plant from the start. You can also find more vegetables and fruits in seed form than in seedling, so planting by seed vastly expands your options of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Preparing an appropriate seed mixture takes more than just a trip to the store for planting soil. You want soil that is airy and has peat moss and perlite mixed because it adds nutrients to the soil that helps new seedlings grow. You can find a seed starter soil at most nurseries but likely not any home good stores.
Don’t over soak your seeds. It’s good to use a spray bottle with filtered water that’s been sitting at least a day. You don’t want to spray freezing cold or hot water onto seedlings but lukewarm water can help the sprouting phase along. Just be careful that the water is not too hot.
Wait until seedlings have their second set of leaves before transplanting outside. You also must acclimate them for at least one week before transplanting or they could possibly die. If direct seeding place a thin layer of mulch over the seed bed to deter birds and other animals from eating the seeds.
Use recycled water, soda or milk bottles to act as a mini irrigation system under new seedling beds. To do this poke several small holes in the bottom of the bottle using a needle. You want the flow of the water to drop not pour out.
With these tips I hope you will be on your way to your first successful vegetable garden. Don’t forget to include your kids if you have any. Children love to be involved in planning what they are going to eat and it is a great bonding experience for the both of you.