Friday, March 14, 2008

Start your Gardening Starts





I recently attended a gardening class on 'starts.' That is, starting plants from seed in your own home. If this is a hobby that interests you, the costs are minimal but the rewards are great. For under $20 you can start enough plants to fill a 10 X 20 foot garden plot. Thus, for under $20 you will have more than enough vegetables to feast on all summer long.


Not all seeds need to be started in planters, some seeds like carrots, squash, pumpkin and corn can be started in the ground. Depending on where you live, the best time to plant starts or seeds is after the last frost. If you leave in Utah, that is around May 15th. Since some seeds can be started in the ground, you will want to wait to plant those till the last frost. If you want fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs, to delight your summer recipes, you can start those seeds now in your home.


You will Need:


--Seeds (Tomatoes, Peppers, Herbs, Annual Flowers, Perennial Flowers, or what ever else strikes your fancy.)

--Pony Pack Draining Planter (small planters that have 4 to a group)

--Holder for your pony packs to catch run off water

--Good Potting Soil (Miracle Grow is always a good pick)

--Water

--Warm place in your home

--Good light source


Getting started is simple, you just need to pack your dirt firmly into your pony pack and give it a good watering. After the excess water drains off, read the back of each of your seed packs. The seed packs will tell you how far to plant your seeds and how long each seed takes to germinate (this is the time from when you plant it till it pops through the dirt and needs direct light). If you are planting Big Boy Tomatoes, you will most likely have to plant each seed 1/4 inch deep and the seeds will germinate from 10 to 14 days. Be sure to write down what you planted, the day you planted it and how long it takes to germinate. This will help you keep track of when you should expect to see plants popping through the soil. After you see the starts pop through the soil, you want to place the planters under a direct light source for 13-18 hours a day. You can use a window, but it is best to put the plants 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches under a florescent light. As the plants grow taller, keep your light always that distance from the plant. You will be adjusting the lamp or light height regularly. Keep the dirt moist and your plants will be perfectly happy. Come May, you will have a variety of perfect plants to transplant in your outdoor garden for a fraction of the price of buying plants.

4 SPLURTS:

Robyn said...

Where did you take this class? I would love something like this! We have two (2!) 25x16 gardens. Well, we will have one, we are turning one into a "playground" for the kids. Thanks for the tips--I may have to call you for more!

Just so said...

I need to do some starts. I think I'm going to try the egg carton method that was in the primary hand out though. I should do some tomatoes though and I don't think I can do those in the egg carton. Hmmmmmm....

I'm Natalie. said...

Erin, Your photography has come leaps and bounds. I am SO PROUD of you!

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