Mar 29, 2010

Gardening! Sprouting! Me, Oh My!

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Part 1 of this series is based upon the Gardening Workshop that was held Saturday, March 27th.  I had such a great time with a great bunch of ladies, a couple of whom I met for the first time.  I met Sarah Jo over at An Ohio Reviewing Mom and another deal lady, Courtnie.  There were so many great discussions from what to plant - to sprouting - to having a wormery.  It truly was so much fun.  So much so that we ran out of time and the ladies had to get home to their families.  Afterwards as I sat down to my computer to check emails (play a little bit of Farmville, :-) I received an email with some great questions from Courtnie that I thought I would address here.  Plus over time I have compiled some great resources that I would like to share in some separate posts (to keep them better organized for future research).  So without further ado I would like to address Courtnie's great questions.

1. Do you sprout indoors first and if so, when do you start them?

2. How do you know which plants are better to grow closer to each other and which should be kept farther away from each other?

3. How did you decide how much space you needed and where to place each kind of plant?

4. When do you plant seeds outdoors (if you don’t sprout them?)

Addressing Question # 1 -

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You do NOT have to start your seeds indoors but overtime this will save you money.  There are lots of seeds that are self-sowing and you can just plan them directly in the soil of your garden plot.  If you choose to start your seeds indoors in the winter months so that they are ready for spring planting here is a website that I recommend checking out Gardening 101:  Seed Starting for Beginners

Adressing Question #2 -
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This is a most excellent question and it goes along with companion gardening.  Tinkers Garden - this is my favorite as it has a chart with Plant - Good Companion - Bad Companion.  Then below that there is also an Herb Companion

Golden Harvest Organics - This is an extensive listing of garden crops and what benefits them and what does not.  I really like this site because it deals with Organic Gardening and using natural methods of growing as well as ridding your garden of pests.

National Sustainable Agriculture - excellent resource with additional resources listed

Adressing Question # 3 - This too is a great question and the answer depends on a few thoughts:

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  • Would I consider myself a beginner gardener, more advanced gardner, or one who loves it so much that I've been doing it for years and it come second nature to me?
  • What does my family like to eat?
  • How much will my family eat?
  • Do I plan to can/freeze/dehydrate items from the garden for Fall/Winter eating?
These questions will help you determine what you want to plant and how ambitious you are, LOL.  My husband and I have a good size garden (some would say large but we think it could be larger but not yet :-D )  I would say maybe 70' by 20'?  This is a big guesstimate because I've not bee out there to measure and I forget how much he said from last year.

You can start really small and choose to do a Spaghetti Garden - just plant Basil, Oregano, Tomatoes, Garlic but it can be a raised bed or even containers.  Or just do an herb garden outside your back door or a full scale garden with all the veggies/fruits your heart desires.

Addressing Question # 4 -

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Most seed packets will have a planting diagram on the back of the packet to let you know when it is "safe" to plant.  Tinkers Garden also gives you the ideal temps (but this is not an exact science and don't get overwhelmed by this). 
Here is an extra resource for you.  If you feel like you might not have enough time for your vegeatable garden here is a site with 10 tips: Home Construction Improvement

A good site with LOTS of info is Veggie Gardner and towards the bottom you can sign up for a FREE online e-course on How To Start A Vegetable Garden.  This site also helps you with picking what variety you want, planting it and what pests to look for.

Well I hope this has helped.  The next post is going to be on composting the traditional way or having a wormery.  I love comments so please let me know if this was helpful to you.  It encourages me to write more posts!