Skip to main content

Planting Starts

I ordered seeds this week from the Territorial Seed Company, a local Northwest seed and plant supplier that supplies only non-genetically engineered seeds (where genetically engineered means "outside of natural reproductive methods"). I ordered corn, green beans, squash, spinach, carrots, and broccoli. Then, today I went to a plant sale that my garden planner was hosting and bought a bunch of starts: tomatoes, peppers, basil, and lettuce. So within a matter weeks to months, we could be harvesting food from our garden! Last year, we did almost all of our vegetables as starts, meaning we planted the seeds in small containers indoors before moving them outside to the garden. This gives the delicate sprouts a chance to grow a little bit before being exposed to the more variant outdoor weather. Doing your own starts is much cheaper than buying them, although a bit more work. It also allows you to plant your best plants into your garden, and to trade starts without wasting seeds like you would if you didn't plan the whole package, or planted them all and then had to thin a lot. Last year we were given starts of several vegetables that friends had extras of. This year, I plan to do some trading of starts and it looks like we're going to end up with a fantastic variety of fresh vegetables in our garden with a pretty small outlay of cash (not counting building the garden, that is!)


How to: To do your starts, just find a sunny spot in your house, fill a seed tray with good soil, and place a seed in each space. Instead of buying a new plastic tray, you could use old yogurt or any other plastic food containers, with a hole poked in the bottom. There are also small pots for starts that are made of fully biodegradable/compostable materials that can be planted directly into your garden! Water regularly to keep the soil moist, and watch your plants sprout up! Once they approach too big for their containers, either move them to a larger container or directly into your garden. Make sure to give them a good watering when you transplant, and I've heard it's best to do this in the morning or evening rather than full heat of the day.

More resources: The Territorial Seed catalog, which you can request for free, is a great source of information, as are their customer service representatives (by phone). Another good place for garden info is the Oregon State University extension service's gardening tips section. OSU extension agents also will answer questions if you go into an office, I've heard (if you are lucky enough to live in Oregon, that is).  I haven't yet found a really strong all-around resource for vegetable gardening online, but please share if you have a favorite. My top book is The Backyard Homestead, available on Amazon. I get a commission if you buy after clicking my link.

I'll be posting photos once I get my seeds in the mail. Can't wait!

Please share any tips you have for starting seeds -- I am still a novice gardener.

Comments

  1. I wish I had tips. I'm a novice gardener myself, and I have to sit out this year as we are moving in June. But I am curious to hear how your broccoli grows - I planted 4 hills of broccoli last year and they each only had heads the size of a silver dollar before they bolted. Not sure if it's something I did or just the growing season here. Good luck and have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had a similar experience with broccoli last year. Your comment reminded me to look that up, and broccoli is a cool season plant that will go to flower if the weather is too warm, according to my Western Garden book. We had such a hot summer last year! I only bought two plants of broccoli the other day, and I am now thinking I might wait until fall to plant the broccoli seeds I'm getting. Thanks for the well wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello, I work for Territorial Seed Company and found your blog via google alerts. Just wanted to confirm that the reason your broccoli probably prematurely bolted was indeed due to the quick spike in temperatures that we got last summer. It can also be a result of environmental conditions such as erratic watering or extreme changes in temperature. At our trial grounds in Cottage Grove, OR, I have had MUCH better results growing broccoli as a fall crop-planting in the summer and harvesting in the fall/early winter when temps are cooler. We have a winter catalog that comes out in the beginning of June with varieties that have proven to grow well for fall harvests.

    Hope that this helps and happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stopping by from the cloth diaper board to follow along! Stop by soon, I have a huge cloth diaper giveaway coming soon! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have given you an award, stop by my blog to find out about it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Woollybottoms Giveaway

I am hosting my first giveaway! I have been wanting to do this for a while, and I'm so pleased to have it finally planned. The item I chose to give is a new pair of Woollybottoms - wool pants for babies. The retail value of these is $29.00. I have been really into the wool pants thing lately, as you may have noticed from my recent posts (about Nifty Knickers, and my baby blue longies) so this seems like a good fit. Wool pants can be used as a cloth diaper cover, or just as snuggly warm pants for the winter or for bedtime. These ones are "footies" so they should keep your baby toasty! The pair I am giving to one lucky winner is light blue with fish fabric for the footie part. Maybe a little more boyish than girlie, but Stella would definitely wear these if we got to keep them. They are size medium, and have the following measurements:
8" waist (elastic)
9" rise
18" length


Here they are:




To enter, simply comment below and let me know why you want to win, or wh…

End of May and the Garden is Planted!

This week has been extremely wet here in western Oregon. By Thursday morning, the rain was really getting to me. I was worried my new starts were going to drown and that the seeds I'd planted last weekend were going to rot. Luckily, there was sun that afternoon and when I went into the backyard I discovered many of my seeds had sprouted, and everything other than the two lemon cucumbers was still looking fairly healthy. We now have nearly everything in, except for the corn. From left to right, our beds contain:

1. thyme, rosemary, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, oregano, and cabbage.
2. carrots and potatoes (planted late - just a couple of days ago)
3. 8 tomatoes and 2 peppers
4. strawberries
5. half of the bed is strawberries (which we might move to join the other bed to give us more room for other things), cucumber, one lone eggplant, and a couple of echinacea
6. empty for now, but it will be soon filled with corn - we are doing seeds in containers and will move them one they are u…

Baby Blue Recycled Wool Longies

The first time I made recycled wool diaper covers, I made "shorties" that fit like little shorts, or a more typical diaper cover. For that project, I bought several wool sweaters at Goodwill and followed a pattern I found online that basically consists of cutting a triangle out of the sweater, cutting off the sleeve cuffs and neck, and sewing it all together, using the sleeves for the leg holes and the neck for the waist. I can give more specific instructions if you'd like, just ask in comments, but unfortunately was unable to find the site that I originally got the pattern from. To size the sides of the triangle, measure your little one's waist and add a half inch. Katrina's Sew Quick blog has some great patterns for a variety of types of wool diaper covers.

Here is one of the first ones I made, clearly it is a little bit big at this point.

You can see another photo of my handiwork in the bottom photo of my "Diapering My Active Nine-Month-Old" post.

Swe…