This is the first year I've tried to start most of my garden from seeds. It's really the first year I've concentrated on having a productive garden with enough to dry and can for later. Prior to this year, my gardening was done from transplants that came from the local nursery. I didn't have much garden space in the back because of shade, and I wasn't organized early enough to get seeds started, so transplants worked for me. As I starting learning more about urban homesteading, I also discovered heirloom seeds and the importance of preserving food diversity. After we put raised beds in the front yard and I started planning my garden for this year, I knew I wanted to focus on supporting seed companies that were doing something good for the world, not trying to monopolize it. Plus the variety of heirloom seeds amazed me. Happy was the day when my seeds arrived. I planted them in starter pods, made a grid of what I planted and waited for them to sprout. Sad was the day when one minute they were on the tray in my hands, and the next minute they were on the kitchen floor. I picked them up and salvaged what I could, realizing at the same time, they were now all jumbled, and I didn't know what was what anymore. Even after they were slammed to the floor, some still sprouted. I moved those to a mini-greenhouse on my deck. I planted new seeds, made a grid, and put them in the greenhouse with the few seedlings I had saved from the kitchen disaster. To my dismay, Nate and I came home one day and the wind had knocked over the greenhouse. Seed pods and seedlings were all over the deck. Once again, I picked them up, and hoped for the best. Some of the young seedlings survived and some of the seeded pods sprouted. I now have 10 tomato plant seedlings, 12 eggplant seedlings, 14 pepper plant seedlings, and I don't know what varieties they are. It's a wait and see game. Of the tomato plants, I do hope I get at least one Cherokee Purple and one Black from Tula. Some Thai Long Green eggplants would be great too. I had to buy transplants to flesh out the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers I needed, and I direct seeded many of my other plants, like squash, watermelon, beans, and cucumbers, from my seed stash. While I didn't start everything from seed like I hoped I could, overall I'm happy with my success. In the meantime, I can't wait to see what develops from my mystery seedlings!
Dan's Workshop: Making the Bents
2 days ago