Days to Maturity

20171008_121704[1]Are we there yet? If you have traveled with kids, I am sure you have heard this more than once. In fact, like me, you have probably thought the same thing at times. The joy I feel planting seeds reminds me of the anticipation I experience when planning for a long distance vacation. When the first leaves appear on my seedlings, I feel happiness like when I pack my suitcase and pull out of the driveway. Planting my young transplants in the garden sparks excitement similar to crossing a new state line. However, the day to day, week by week, caring for the plant begins to leave my asking “How much longer?”Read More »

Advertisements

Transplant Time

20170924_124232[1]I’ve sown my seeds, they are growing, and I am looking forward to transplanting them outdoors. But, are they ready to transplant? If I transplant them too early they will have a tough time adjusting to their new environment and may die. If I wait too long, they can become root bound in their container. When it comes to deciding when to transplant seedlings, I consider them ready to transplant when they have two to four true leaves.Read More »

A Time to Plant

envisionWhere do you want to plant your seeds? You can plant your seeds outdoors, directly into the garden or you may want to plant them indoors. Seeds planted outdoors may be more vulnerable to disease, insects, and bad weather. I prefer to plant my seeds indoors. I use a seed starting tray, but you can also use small containers with drainage holes.  It is a good idea to clean them first. I like to avoid toxic cleaners so I clean mine with plant based Thieves household cleaner. Whether you sow your seeds directly into the soil outdoors or start them indoors, it requires the same basic elements… soil, water, and light.

Soil

If you are planting your seeds outdoors, you will want healthy organic soil made of decaying materials such as leaves, grass clippings and compost. The soil should be fluffy and hold moisture, but also drain well. Healthy plants grow in healthy soil.

When planting seeds indoors, I fill clean containers with a seedling mix made of peat moss, and perlite to hold enough water and allow oxygen to flow.

Water

Whether you plant your seeds indoors or outdoors, your seeds need to be kept moist.  I prefer to use rain water that I collect in rain barrels to avoid chlorine from the city water.

Light

Once your seeds sprout they will need plenty of  light. When growing indoors I use grow lights that simulate the full spectrum of the sun. I leave them on for 12 – 15 hours per day.  This helps my seedlings grow as strong and healthy as they would in true sunlight.

Planting your seeds in the soil and watering them is the easy part.  Waiting patiently and attentively is the hard part.

Our Little Lesson from the garden: Words are seeds. What are you planting? Positive words bring positive growth. Speak positively. Laugh. Love. Dream. Envision the future.

My oil of the day is Envision.   It’s scents stimulate my feelings of creativity and resourcefulness, encouraging renewed faith in the future and the strength necessary to achieve dreams.

-Penny

Do I Have Enough Space?

mustard_seed[1]Do I have enough space?

Taking into account my planting zone and what season I am in, I still have another question to ask…Do I have enough space to grow that here? Space is yet another thing to consider when growing plants. The roots and leaves need room to grow. When plants are overcrowded, they can become stunted and are more likely to suffer from diseases. Understanding the spacing needs of what you want to grow is essential to reaping an abundant harvest. Do your research and be clear about the amount of space needed to be successful.Read More »

What Season?

there is a season picAfter making a list of what I desired to grow, I narrowed it to the things that could grow in my zone. Now, I need to narrow it a little more. What season is it? Plants are sorted into two distinct categories: cool season (for spring and fall) and warm season (for summer). Planting in the proper season is the first step to a bountiful harvest. I use a chart for my planting zone that lists when I should start my seeds and when I should put my transplants into the ground. The reason this chart is so helpful is that if I plan on reaping a fall harvest, I usually have to begin by planting my seeds in the summer season. That means that I have to plan ahead. If I wait to plant my seeds, they might not have enough time to grow to maturity and produce an abundant harvest before the freezing temperatures of winter.Read More »

Can I Grow That Here?

grow1The first lesson from the garden was to ask yourself, “What do I desire to grow?” Now, you need to honestly ask yourself, “Can I grow that here?” I mean truthfully, I would love to grow everything I eat. However, I know that is not possible and I don’t want to waste my time and energy in the garden. I want to be successful and my harvest abundant. The success of my garden depends upon me choosing the right plants for my planting zone. Therefore, I need to know what planting zone I live in. The US Department of Agriculture produces a map for gardeners that divides North America into 11 planting zones. Each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. After a little research, I have learned that I live in zone 8B. Now, I look back at my list. I have two options. I can cross off anything that does not grow in this zone, or I can move to another zone. I don’t want to move, so I select plants that thrive in my zone. This decision has increased my chances for success.Read More »

What Do I Want to Grow?

Growing a garden begins long before you plant the first seed. It begins with a desire. I WANT to grow something. I may spend hours looking through seed catalogs and websites. I am drawn to the colorful glossy pictures, and make long lists of what I desire to grow. But, before I place my order, I need to ask myself a few questions. The answers to these questions will determine if I place an order for new seeds, use the seeds left over from last year, or give up before I begin? Most importantly, it will determine what and how much I will reap in the end.Read More »