Planting seeds are a goal I have set for my garden this year. It’s cost-effective and the varieties I can grow are much more diverse than what I typically find in nurseries. My seeds are growing and I should be planting them in the ground soon. Time to start another group. I’m trying to stagger plantings every three weeks. So far, this is what I’ve gotten started. I’ve also started sunflowers and cherry tomatoes.
Aaaah, the catalogs are starting to arrive. Let the shopping begin!
I’ve got the springtime itch and right now the garden has a very additive quality that I’m finding hard to resist. I got a lot of seeds started this weekend in preparation for next season’s garden. I’ll start some more seeds in a couple of weeks in an effort to stagger plantings and get steady yields. It’s a good theory. Time will tell how it pans out! Here’s what I’m working on. A few interesting tomatoes from my friend, Martha, who picked them up in her travels. Lots of sunflowers. I wasn’t going to do corn this year because it does take up a lot of room, but how could I resist the ornamental corn? Three different kinds of squash raise my chances at being successful at having at least one not die on me. Radishes and peppers, well, just because. Although my flats are not to scale, each square in a flat represents a six-pack planter.
I got my act together and planted up some six-packs today. I also plugged in some succulent starters.
A little lettuce, a splash of spinach, a run of radicchio and mucho mache. I’m a little behind my schedule of planting but it’s all good. And now it’s done!
I have a husband who never makes a comment about what I spend and though I’m not really a “shopper” per se, I admit that I drop copious amounts of money at San Diego area nurseries. What am I spending so much money on?, you ask. Some things are “must-haves” like soil, pots, seeds, and the occasional fertilizer or amendments. Other items are things I hadn’t planned ahead of time to buy, but that I see when I’m at the nursery, which leads to impulse buying because it just seems like the right thing to do at the time. My biggest expenditure this past year has been for plants. I just can’t help myself – but I should! I’ve pretty much maxed out the space on the property and I have no need to buy anything else for awhile.
While I was assessing this plant fetish of mine, I thought back to a few months ago when it occurred to me that I was spending a lot of money toward harvesting what turned out to be a pitiful crop of vegetables from my yard. Soooooooo……
I have issued a challenge to myself for one year, beginning October 1. I cannot spend more than $75.00 on plant material for one year. I need to concentrate on growing my produce from seeds (Pro-so many more varieties to grow / Con-I have to plan ahead and be organized), or getting plants and cuttings by trade, or free from friends and neighbors. I’m going to concentrate on growing seeds, and this will be a year to work on perfecting my rooting technique. If I can propagate plants for sale, I can use that money toward my “Plant Fund.” The main purpose for the exercise is to grow my own vegetables in a cost-effective manner. For the amount of money I spent last year, I could have gone to the Farmer’s Market a few times each week and stocked up on a much bigger variety of things than I could ever grow in my garden. Can I do better? We’ll see.
So, to recap, only $75.00 for plants, big or small, from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011. Wish me luck!!!!
I’ve been harvesting seeds from my garden to use for next year. Seeds collected so far are: Black Cherry, Yellow Cherry and Momotaro seed.. These three pictures show the harvesting where I squished the seeds out of the tomatoes, removed the skins and poured the seeds onto multiple layers of paper towels, placed on top of a layer of newspaper and labeled.
I also harvested a lot of poppy seeds, collecting the pods in small paper bags, letting them dry out and pop open on their own. I shake the bags periodically to knock the seeds out of the pods and pick out the empty pods to throw away.
A few important details to know about collecting. Seeds are at their prime germination potential when they reach maturity on the plant, then they start declining. When storing seeds, it important to eliminate moisture and heat. Plastic bags aren’t good for storage because condensation forms from any moisture remaining in the seeds. The life of a seed is doubled for every 1 percent decrease of moisture.
Also, try to remember to label your seed collections because you will forget what you’ve collected. I speak from experience.