Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Time to Start Gardening!

I am so excited! I think it was about a week or so ago that Mom and I had been out doing some errands together when we noticed that the first of the seed packets had already come in. We bought a bunch, I think about 19 or so at only 20 cents a packet! We also got some potting soil. A bunch of veggies and then some flowers too. Last night I sowed the first of the veggies, those that can be started early indoors. I've had everybody saving their cardboard egg-cartons since sometime after Christmas and I put them to good use. They are so easy to make into planters, especially if you follow my directions below. I like to use the vintage cabinet in front of our breakfast room window to start the seeds because they seem to do best there. But any suitably sunny spot will do.

First, I cut the lids off and used them as saucers for the egg toting halves.

Then using an old large measuring spoon I scooped soil into the individual egg compartments. You don't want too much because it will spill out all over the place!

For right now I marked in permanent marker the names of the plants I was starting on the carton lid saucers, but I will go back later and put a name stake in (I forget where I read this, but someone had suggested using plastic knives as stakes, just write the name on in permanent marker on the handle and stick the blade down. They are especially nice if the blade is serrated as it really catches the ground. You can transplant this stake at the same time you do the plants.)

Then you put one seed in each compartment, and using an old pencil or a bamboo skewer, gently nudge the seed beneath the soil, according to the directions on the seed packet.

I like to keep one variety of seeds in each carton just because it is a lot easier to keep track of your plants.

If you really want to maximize the space you can split cartons down the middle to fit on your window sills.

***Remember to put a liner of some sort under your plants. You don't want to have to refinish or paint later!***

Water as directed!

Right now, I am on the border of zones 4 and 5 so I started my tomatoes, spinach, lettuce and peppers. I am hoping to start some snapdragons soon too.

Gardening is so rewarding in and of itself because you get to literally reap your own rewards for the labor that you put forth. Not to mention there is something almost magical watching the seeds grow into something you can eat, or in the case of flowers, enjoy for their beauty. However, in these times, gardening is a great way to be environmentally friendly and frugal.

For just a few dollars at the outset I will be able save a considerable amount at the grocery store from the spring through the fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I just blogged about how the Obamas planted a kitchen garden and how we should all be doing victory gardens from now on! You should check out the worm farm - its the best thing ever for huge, healthy veggies.