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Monday, March 21, 2011

Starting Our Garden

My big helper!

Using a seeder to make littles holes for the seeds.

Some of our plants on the mini greenhouse shelves.

Bottom of the "planter" labeled so I know what's in each one.  I write down what seeds they are and when they should germinate by.  

I recently ordered seeds through Seed Savers Exchange.   They have been my favorite company to purchase seeds along side with Mountain Rose Herbs.  The quality is always great!  Today I planted my tomato and pepper seeds.  I have provided a list of what I used today, how many plants it will yield should they all survive and what I paid.   I still have to plant my bean seeds but they have not yet come in the mail.  However, the price below will reflect the beans.

2 boxes Jiffy Refill Pellet's = $5.30
1 Jiffy Professional Greenhouse kit (w/36 pellets) = $4.24
1 package each of Ancho Peppers, Jalapeno Pepeprs, Tomato Plants and Bean Plants = $11.66
3 (3-pack) packages 10-inch round planter saucers from the Dollar Tree = $3.18
Grand Total for Supplies = $24.38
Yield - 78 Organic Heirloom Plants!

You can do this cheaper if you have really good soil, save your seeds from previous years or do not purchase heirloom/organic.  Where we live, we have to amend our soil quite often and have our own compost bins to use in our garden.  I also used to try to start seeds with potting mix or garden soil to get off cheaper.  I have found the above pellets or a seed starting mix to really be very superior to the germination quality of the seeds I plant.  While in the horticulture program in school, we always used a high quality seed germination medium.  So...if you've had problems in the past sprouting seeds, it just may very well be the medium your using (or not using).

A Few Tips:
1. Make sure to use warm water when first planting your seeds.
2. Keep the seed medium moist but not sopping wet till the seeds germinate.
3. Pay close attention to the depth each seed needs to be planted.  This is very important.  If you plant pepper seeds at 1 inch depth when they only need 1/4 inch, they may not sprout.
4. Water from the bottom.
5. Peppers like warm air underneath them.  I put my mini greenhouse on top of my register.
6. Keep the seeds covered till they have their first true leaf (after the first two little leaf looking things that sprout).
7. Make sure plants are in a good sunny location free of cold drafts.
8. Depending on where you have your planted seeds place, you may have to rotate the plants daily after they are established.
9. Don't forget to gently harden off your plants before you plant them.


Jamie said...

Thank you for all of the tips, you are awesome! I FINALLY have some space for some gardening and it's almost ready. I couldn't be more excited!

Amanda Kaake said...

You're so welcome! Yeah for having a place to garden this year!!!!