Friday, February 22, 2013

Stop! Don't Plant Those Seeds in the Ground! Also, Projects 2 and 3

Are you planning to start your garden this year but unsure of when to start your seeds? Then, continue reading!

Growing Season
The length of your growing season is the number of days between the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall. You can research the estimated growing season of your area by visiting The Old Farmer's Almanac or Dave's Garden. My frost-free growing season is around 172 days long. 

Certain plants will die if exposed to frost, so it's important to know when it's safe to grow varieties that are intolerant of frost. In my area, the weekend of Mother's Day is a pretty safe time to plant. You can also visit and type in your zip code to find out what Plant Hardiness Zone you belong to. 

On seed packets, the hardiness of the plant is indicated to help you decide if that variety is a good fit for your area. The higher the number, the longer the growing season and/or the warmer the climate the plant requires. For example, I am in Zone 6A. Growing a plant that requires a warmer climate such as cotton would not be a good idea. If you want to know exactly which plant varieties do well in your area, contact your local agricultural extension agent

When to Plant
Here's a list of common garden plants and when to put them in the ground. The When to Plant in Ground field refers to the Day of Average Last Frost. Say your average last day of frost is on May 9th. In the case of peas, you would be safe to plant them 4 weeks before this day, so around April 11th. 

To Start Indoors or Buy from a Nursery...That is the Question
If you're trying to get a head start on the growing season, I see two main benefits to starting your seeds indoors rather than purchasing them from a nursery: 

  • You save money, as plants in the nursery are more expensive than buying a packet of seeds.
  • You know exactly how your seeds were raised, eliminating the worry that your seedlings were exposed to synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

If you don't want to go through the hassle of growing your seeds indoors and have access to a nursery that grows their plants organically (or don't mind that your seedlings may not have been grown organically), purchasing your seeds from a garden center may be a better option. 

In future articles, I will go through the process of starting seedlings indoors with a soil blocker, as well as explaining the benefits of using a soil blocker vs. a seed tray with individual cavities. 

Announcing Projects 2 and 3!

Okay, I told you I'd let you in on the details of Projects 2 and 3 last week, so here they are!

Project 2: Urban Garden

Pictured is the backyard we are going to be converting into a garden this year. Our friend and client, Hannah, is currently renting, and the landlord has given her permission to use it in it's entirety for gardening! We are hoping to inspire those with small spaces who are thinking about mini farming their yards! Further details will emerge when I have the exact measurements of this space. Follow along in the 2013 Projects page for regular updates! 

Project 3: Deck Garden

Pictured is part of the deck we will be converting into a container-based garden this year. Do you have a small deck? We are hoping to inspire you to grow some food in the space you have. As with Project 2, follow along in the 2013 Projects page for regular updates!

We're very excited to bring you specific projects and hoping that at least one of them will inspire you to take action and make the most of the space you have if growing food is your goal. As always, thanks for dropping by!

1 comment:

  1. We can't usually start planting here until sometimes the middle of May and most times even later than that.