Monday, March 5, 2012

I have my veggie seeds....now what?

This is the start of my journey from seed to plate! Something I have not successfully achieved before!
I really have to admit I am scared when it comes to growing vegetables from seed, knowing when to sow and what vegetable to grow...help! I think my blog is turning more into a confessional for a gardener who really doesn't have a clue...lol! But like anything I am hear to learn...woot! My track record with seeding has not been very successful, so usually I stick to growing veggies from a "start" purchased from my local green house or kindly donated by a sympathetic friend....When it comes to seeds I'm scattered! Although when it comes to seed quality I know exactly what I want, check out my post on Seed labeling.

I have decided that now is the time to dig in and take this seed growing seriously, I am excited to learn as much as I can about starting my veg from seed right. I just hope I am not to late for the season? (see not a clue!) My interest is stemming from a "passion" of knowing what I am really eating.

Organically Certified Seeds I have just recently purchased, ah I love Seattle Seed Co home to GMO free seed!

Tomatoes: Washington cherries & Brandywine
Cucumbers: Early Fortune & Tendergreen (going to try pickling!)
Leafy greens: Buttercrunch, Spring mix & Roquette
Onion: Walla Walla
Beans: Kentucky Wonder (Bush) Still deciding on a pole bean?
Carrots: Danver
Zucchini: Black Beauty
As well as a number of herbs, Coriander, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Spring onions and Sage! oh and Parsley.

So now that I have my seeds, now what? Time to sow, but which ones and how? Things I am really looking forward to learning more about....

When is the best time to sow what veggie?
Should it be started indoors or direct ground sow?
How do I know if a seed is growing correctly?
If I have sowed indoors when do I move them to the veggie bed?
What veg from seed grow best in my area?

So many questions not to mention so many seed packs collected over the years, you might even say I have seed hoarder tendencies. The fun of buying, lured in by pretty packaging or with dreams and plans to one day sow!

Is it sad to say I have probably framed more seed packets as art than I have grown...lol!

This is the year and I'm committing...you're all witness!!! Its my testimony and I have to stick with it! I'm looking forward to this learning journey and hope you will join me and share any insights along the way!
This week I am building my small salvaged garden bed with removable cold-frame top. As well as learning...Which seeds on my above list I should be sowing first?
Its going to be a wonderful, productive week and can't wait to post about this soon!!!

Cheers
Julia xx

24 comments:

  1. Julia! What a fun adventure you are on! I am determined to grow my veggies from seed this year. I have started my tomato and pepper (as well as herbs) in a propagator indoors. I learned the hard way last year not to start beans indoors. (they just don't transition well) The weather this year has been so difficult to predict. I have directly sown some radishes, lettuce and spinach outside already. They have sprouted.. we'll see what they do as it's been cold. I need to make a hoop house. I'm really excited for your seed gardening adventures! Cheers, Jenni

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    1. Jenni WOW a propagator! I would love to start my seeds indoors (as I know some should be) but I'm finding the whole "where to do it" thing tricky, I've noticed a number of people using their kitchen counters, my poor little babies will be lost in amongst homework and dishes...lol! Still trying to decide where? Maybe the garage? Where do you have your propagator? I'd love to hear more about it. Thanks also for the tip on the beans, will heed your advice there. Beans are the one I think we are looking forward to the most (plus its one of the only veggies my kids will eat!!) Hope your outdoor sprouts are doing well? we woke up to frost again this morning, its chilly!!
      Cheers Julia

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  2. Getting started is the hardest part! Find your USDA zone, and try using a calendar like this one to guide you:

    http://www.veggieharvest.com/Vegetable-Planting-Calendar/Zone-7-Vegetable-Planting-Calendar/

    Once you know your zone, click on the appropriate calendar. It gives you a general idea on when to start seeds, as well as what veggies you can directly sow into your garden. Also talking to some people in your area will give you a better, more personal, grasp on how long it takes for things to grow in your particular climate.

    Onions and lettuce you can go ahead and start from seed now, and the majority of your herbs since they take forever to grow. The time for tomatoes starting is fast approaching, too! Bean, zucchini, and cucumbers I just direct seed once my last frost date has passed. They grow quickly and don't really like to be transplanted.

    Carrots are tricky, but this is the method that I am going to try this year:

    http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-22-2009-home-made-seed-mat.html

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    1. Oh my I could do a post just on your reply!! So much great info, thank you! I LOVE the calendar, what a great resource!! I am really intrigued by the seed mat. I have heard that carrots like to clump so this could be a wonderful option. Thanks for stopping by, cheers =)

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  3. Hi Julia. Congratulations! I believe the best way to learn is to do what you're doing: just dive in! There is lots of information on the Internet, from books and fellow gardeners but you'll learn the most by just doing it. Be prepared for a few failures but don't let them get you down. You'll have far more successes.

    I think the biggest disappointment for me with regards to growing veggies from seed is the slug damage. Slugs can eat your little seedlings before you even know they're there. It'll be like, "Why didn't those seeds come up?" And the truth is, they DID come up and the slugs got them! So be sure to use some kind of bait or patrol for them little nasties.

    I applaud you. Keep us posted.

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    1. I LOVE it, I think Grace that will be my seeding mantra - just dive in!! I can sometimes get so bogged down with ALL the research side of things that by the time I have devoured all there is to learn its winter and I've missed the boat...lol! Hence why my seeding has never really happened. Thanks for this invaluable reminder!! I am looking forward to learning as I go.
      We grow mutant size slugs here in Seattle, I think they are like our states mascot or something...lol! I'm going to try oak chips this year, I hear they hate them. Thanks for your wonderful advice...Cheers Julia xx

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  4. Prairie Cat gave you good info on finding a calendar for your area. That will help. Some things can be planted and take a frost but others need the weather to be warm. If you start them indoors, you'll need to gradually introduce them to being outside or they won't survive the move. I've never started tomatoes from seed but the rest of your list should start pretty easy outside. Although if you want onions, start them inside from seed soon. I'd go with the greens first! Good luck.

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    1. Thanks for the great advice!! My gosh, its the wonderful garden blogging community and amazing guidance that makes this process so much more enriching! We woke to snow yesterday so I think my outdoor sowing will still need to wait. I love all this advice about moving plants and the shock it can cause, very interesting stuff! Thank you sooooo much for stopping by and leaving your wonderful comments...Cheers Juila

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  5. Last year I grew beets and carrots from seed. The gold beets were duds and the carrots looked like teensy aliens. :o) My red beets were ok and the purple carrots grew well enough that I could turn them into carrot cake. Have you talked to the folks at your local extension office? That's always a great place to start. Good luck! We'll have to keep tabs on each other as our plants take over our kitchens! :o)

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    1. lol, I'm picturing your little alien carrots =) I am not sure what an extension office is (see again proving my novice on this topic!) I will look into it! Would LOVE to keep tabs on each others overgrown kitchens...hehe! Always love seeing you stop by, Cheers Julia

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  6. I too have started off growing food for the first time in my very small garden. After a holiday in Sweden where our hosts just picked and cooked everything fresh, I made it this year's resolution to try it out on a small So the best of luck.
    Linda

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    1. Oh that sounds divine! Best of luck to you too Linda, won't it be amazing to eat fresh from our own gardens! Can't wait to hear how your adventures go...cheers Julia

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  7. What fun! I'll be watching and learning with you...though I have found that what works wonderfully one year may be a total flop the next. Go figure!

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    1. Fun times, I look forward to learning from you too, lots to learn that is for sure! I hear you with consistency, you never know what will work from year to year let alone the weather! one year we have a wet rainy summer with 2 weeks of sunshine and the next we actually get a summer! All part of the wonderful surprises of gardening right =) Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. plan your work and work your plan. ha!

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    1. Wise words Greggo...love it! I could use this in many areas of my life...haha!

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  9. Hello Julia,

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog- I've be so busy lately, I'm afraid I've neglected it for a while, so it was nice to see a new comment! I agree with Grace (Hey Grace, hope you're well!)- dive right in! I do have lots of experiments with seed starting- and I have to say it is one of my favorite things about growing. Stick with it and take lots of notes! I use a software program I found years ago called Garden Tracker and I still use it to well, track things :). Between that and the sheets I've made myself keeping things logged has been my best tool...for not repeating mistakes, etc. or "What was that great tasting tomato I grew last year called?" Those sheets are available on my blog if you need them- just look for the orange box :)

    Happy Gardening and I look forward to seeing what you grow this year!

    Tessa (aka dirtdigger)

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    1. Tessa I would love to check out the sheets you use to track your veggie growing, great idea. I intend to use my blog as my growing diary and will be posting my journey weekly here! This year I feel like my memory has disappeared so I need all the help I can get when it comes to lessons learned and tips to take note of. I'm excited to learn from others experiences too, the must do's and the what to avoid. Love this community!! Thanks for stopping by...Cheers Julia xx

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  10. How exciting! You can do it!!

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  11. Looks like you are having lots of fun with your garden experimenting Julia. Just give it a try, observe and see what works. Growing plants from seed is incredibly easy - you can do it. Be prepared for problems - some things will not grow as expected, or will get eaten by varmints, etc. That's OK. Most things will do just fine and with time you'll figure out ways to deal with the problems. Gardening is a state of constant observation, change, and flexibility. Starting from seed is so fun - you get very attached to your little babies - almost don't want to eat them! :-)

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    1. LOL! That reminds me when my tomato plant finally fruited (with only 3 toms) I had a hard time eating them, they really were very cared for babies, how could I eat them!! They tasted great ;) Great advice, I think its the flexibility that will be key, go with it, try new things, change things up if not working. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by and for following my blog...appreciate it! cheers Julia xx

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  12. Girl, you can do it all! Let's get together and I'll impart all my learnings. :)

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    1. I am so looking forward to this growing season with you!! Thanks for the shop the other day, I really enjoyed talking seeds, plants and all that other growing goodness with you! Can't wait to see what you produce in your amazing AMAZING veggie beds this year...love ya xx

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest post! I love sharing my gardening adventures and reading your wonderful comments. Happy digging...Cheers Julia!!

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