Friday, April 6, 2012

Starting early spring seeds for the veggie garden

Starting early spring seeds for the veggie garden

I’m planting early spring veggies like carrots, beets, spinach, swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. The carrots and beets were sown directly in the garden. Root crops do better when sown direct. Once planted I layed out a product called reemay, or row cover, a thin layer of breathable fabric that allows light and air to pass through, but acts as a blanket at night for young seedlings. You can also use recycled plastic gallon jugs with the base cut off as mini greenhouses.

I started all the rest (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, parsley, cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash) in seed starting flats I picked up at my local garden center. Starting them a few weeks early gives them a head start in the garden and shortens the time to harvest. Knowing when to start seeds requires looking up your last average frost free date for your region. For Southeast Pennsylvania, May 15th is generally regarded as our last frost free date. For best results, look for seed starting flats that come with humidity domes to hold in moisture for best results with seed germination.

I plant my seeds in Organic Mechanics Seed Starting Blend. It has the perfect blend of coconut fiber, worm castings, rice hulls, pine bark, and organic fertilizer to help them start off strong. Most seed starting mixes do not have fertilizer added, another reason Organic Mechanics is my product of choice when starting seeds. Our Seed Starting Blend holds moisture longer than most mixes, but still has plenty of room for drainage so young roots are not sitting in water. I love having to water less! I’m sure you’d agree; both water and time are precious resources.

Speaking of time being a precious resource, I’ve learned that all too well the past 8 months or so…hence the absence from my blog. Organic Mechanics moved, again, hopefully for the last time for quite awhile. We are set up in our new warehouse, all indoors. The machines have been humming away, the guys are back into the routine, and the phones are ringing. Spring is back, and I'm excited for this garden season.

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