It's time to start planning out your garden and sowing your seeds! Some seeds take longer than other to germinate so make sure you read each seed packet carefully! Each variety tells you when and how you should sow the seeds, but it also tells you how many days until maturity. Quick Tip - If it is a quick maturity, sow them closer to planting time. Those varieties likely grow fast the moment their seeds hit the soil.
1. Choose Your Seeds
We have tons of seeds to choose from, We recommend making a wish list before you come shopping, check out oscseeds.com. We carry a wide variety of their more popular varieties, but we can also order any kind that you don't see on our shelf, with no fee for shipping. By planning ahead, you will stay on track and make the most out of your garden space. Don't choose varieties your family wont eat or that you don't have space for. Some veggies grow tall, other spread wide. Some veggies, like lettuce and radishes, grow quick, while others grow slow. Consider planting quick harvest plants that share the same space with slow harvest plants, your quick harvesting plants will be out of the way and in your belly, before your late harvest fills in it's neighbours space. You may also want to stagger the time that you plant your seeds so that your crops matures at different times. Harvesting 20-30 beans at a time, to cook fresh, is easy to fit into your busy schedule. Harvesting 400 beans, cleaning, blanching and canning can be a daunting task - if you weren't up for it.
Now that you have researched and planned out your garden for Spring, you are ready to get started. Try to get all of your supplies in one trip.
2. A Mini Propagation House
We have seed starting trays and pop-up miniature greenhouses available for purchase. These are also great to re-purpose each spring but make sure you clean them out well and sterilize them. It probably seems unlikely that your container is harvesting bacteria, but do you want to take the chance and have crop failure, due to this? We recommend Using 70-100% Isopropyl Alcohol in s spray bottle. Keep in mind, your propagation house doesn't need to be fancy. Recycled take out containers or clear plastic bags over a repurpose tote will work. Its main purpose is to create humidity. You want to retain consistent moisture (without soaking developing roots). This is the obvious perk to humidity, however humidity creates condensation - which naturally increases the temperature around your plant. This is crucial for seed starting indoors. Whether you go fancy or repurpose ensure you have venting holes, or you will want to open the container for fresh air every few days to prevent bacteria, mildew and mold from developing
3. Heat Mat
This is not necessary but does make a significant difference, especially if your home is cooler during the winter/ early spring months.
4. Seed Starting Soil
When starting seeds, you have to me more cautious about soil selection. Seeds need absorbent soil that will hold the proper amount of moisture ( Peat Moss or Coir). Your soil needs to have good drainage for excess water. Peat Moss and Coir are absorbant but you want the excess water to escape away from the roots to ensure that your peat doesn't get too soggy. Perlite is the Styrofoam looking balls you commonly find in potting soil. Fun fact - it is actually Volcanic glass. Perlite is not only used to create drainage, it prevents soil from compacting and allows more oxygen to reach the roots, creating more rapid growth.
We have pre-made Seed Starting Mixes available, including Pro-Mix, our top recommendation. However, we also sell all of the additive separately if you'd prefer to make your own. We also have seed peat pods and small biodegradable pots.
5. Watering Can or Mister
When choosing a watering can for your seeds, keep in mind that you do not want your soil soggy or compacted. you don't want your seeds or new tender roots to feel like they're experiencing a tsunami every time they are watered, due to vigorous watering. Choose a watering can with a rain or gentle sprinkle nozzle. A misting spray bottle is the perfect tool, as long as you get the soil damp enough.
We recommend Root Booster for transplanting and propagation! You will not need to fertilize your seeds until you start seeing a couple sets of leaves emerge. That will be your cue. Follow instructions on bottle.
Varieties To Avoid If You Have A Small or "Tight" Garden
If you do not have adequate space in your garden or you have poor air circulation (ie it's in a corner with no breeze) avoid the following: Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Squash, Zucchini - And any other powdery Mildew prone plants. If you choose to plant them, make sure to trim away leaves that the plant doesn't need. Generally speaking, it is safe to gradually remove 1/3 of the foliage to improve ventilation. Don't do it all at once, but trim back 1 or 2 every time you water. Only water in the morning whenever possible so excess water evaporates quickly, reducing prolonged dampness. Treat at first sight and gently remove and bag any bad spots to prevent spore from spreading airborne. Cucumbers can be grown in a separate patio container on a trellis where it received more air flow!
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