Cabin fever has plagued our household for months. We're craving the outdoors, and just as it gets to be really disheartening, the seed packets arrive.
Last year, we jumped on the opportunity a bit too early. We built a make-shift greenhouse in our basement out of an old cabinet with racks on top and a semi-transparent painter's tarp over the top. We hooked up some warm growing lights, and kept the interior humid. It actually worked great, aside from taking up too much space, and being relatively hideous. However, because we planted a bit too soon, many of our started seeds grew into plants ready for soil, before the ground had even thawed.
This year, we are practicing more patience. As well as purchasing a miniature real greenhouse. One that can be placed outside, at that.
This year, we have a few new varieties as well as repeating some of our prior produce selections:
Purple Gem Corn
…..and probably others.
The garden is a bit of an obsession. Warm, green evenings after work, golden hour, with the sun just setting, meandering out into the vibrant garden, chickens pecking the ground, ducks and geese splashing in the pond... I long for those days. Heading out with the garden basket to load up today's haul and stopping for a quick swing on the hammock with the Homestead Honey. Picking tomatoes right off the vine, and snipping some fragrant herbs to simmer together in a pot on the stove... I'm getting carried away with these daydreams and flavors of summer.
As the sprouts get going, we'll be working on two additional raised beds. We were a little overcrowded last year. Adding a couple more will be a big help, and might allow us to sell off some extra that we produce. I'm hoping to mulch some nice pathways around the garden area, and depending on how well our ducks behave, a garden fence may end up being in order as well.
How do you start seeds anyway?
We like to pick up the seed starter sets, which include these plastic trays and lids that keep the humidity in while the seeds are attempting to sprout. Some come with pellets of dirt for each individual pocket, and are easily "activated" by adding water. This year, we added our own soil to the plastic seed starter, and doused with a spray bottle of water, as well as adding a little beneath the double trays (approx. 2 cups per tray).
When planting, you only need to put 1-2 seeds in each pod. Seriously. I know they are tiny, and I fought it at first, but once they grow up you will be shocked. They need room, and they outgrow their containers quick!
The seeds will need to be kept relatively warm and humid over the next week or two, until the weather is about 40-50 degrees (or higher) each day, for us to move them out to the new greenhouse.
Be careful not to over-water them - we did this last year and ruined some - you want moisture, but not drenched.
Many seed packets will come with directions for the specific seeds right on the backside as well!
Have questions about raised bed gardening? Equipment? Manure? Seeds? Leave us a comment (below), or send us an e-mail (click here!). You can also reach out to us on Facebook (click here!).