I want my children to know the value of life and because I do not want to show them the process of birth just yet, I am starting with gardening. (I know, one end of the stick to the other right?) And let’s face it, these times are uncertain and so is the future. I believe everyone should garden, and that everyone can! With that said, I wanted to announce the Summertime series all about gardens! We are going on an adventure my friends, from seedling to plate! I give you:
From Seed To Plate, A Garden Series
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Today is all about seeds baby!
In March, Matt decided he was ready to start planning our garden. With the help of Karen, we found a chunk of land to host our plot. We knew from the start that we wanted to grow food that can be stored in the freezer or in the cupboard. We stuck with the basics to start: okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beans and peas, lettuce, with the possibility of corn as well.
Start Early, Sugar
Some seeds can and should be started early and indoors. We chose to start tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and lettuce indoors. The easiest way to do this was to buy Jiffy-7 42mm Peat Pellets - 50 Count and soak them until expansion was finished. Then we took a skewer and wetted the end. Tap the seed (they are sometimes very tiny, that’s where the wet skewer comes in, like a mini finger that doesn’t drop the seed as easy) from the plate and distribute to each pellet.
We housed our pellets in a mini greenhouse. After the seed planting was complete we just put the lid back on the tray and placed it under a nice bright light. You must keep the lid on the tray until you see the seedlings pop through the pods. (patience is not my virtue, so I know how hard it is not to mess with it.)
Lights Camera Action
After your new little babies have sprouted. it’s time to prop open the lid a few times a day. To do this, we just adjust it so that one side is slightly open. Make sure you replace it though each night because your babies are not ready yet.
Once your seeds start to look more like plants, you need to move them to a nice sunny window during daylight hours. Most of these little guys require between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight. Because organic sunlight is so much better for them than the harsh fluorescent light, always make sunshine your first choice.
Go Back To Your Roots
Soon, your little plants will have roots so you will need to watch for signs of that. Because the pellet you have has a mesh net, the roots should have no problem breaking, though. Soon after they need to be planted in the dirt because the air on the bare root will start to damage and kill your seedling. Since we are starting a rather large garden, we opted for the solo style plastic cups that can be bought in bulk. We cut holes in the bottom for drainage. Filling the cup about half way ( we are not firmly pressing down just yet so hang on there cowboy) we then placed the entire peat pellet with plant into and cover until the cup is 3/4 full. Now you can compact it all gently.
H2O For The Soul
I don’t know about you guys but my children rarely finish a water bottle. So I have tons floating around at any given time. We are going to upcycle one of those little flimsy bottles into a watering can of sorts so you don’t drench your fresh plants. To do this simply poke holes into the cap and replace on bottle FIRMLY. Water your plants in, without soaking them so much that you make mud.
Here’s The Shocker
Transplant shock is real my friends. We just transplanted some B E A U T I F U L cucumbers. Truly photo- worthy. As soon as they were planted they really started to wilt and go all wonky.Transplant shock comes from a dramatic and sudden change, like going from indoor window light to outdoor bright warm sunshine. Give the little guy some time and it should be just fine. Please note that not all seedlings survive transplant shock. Think of this as nature’s way of hand picking the strongest.
Tender Lovin Care Baby
For the next few weeks, you are going to have a routine with your littles’ of bringing them either outside (after the danger of frost is gone) or putting them in a very sunny window. And at night time (just before dusk) you will bring them back indoors and if dry a bit of water!
Here’s this great video of what you can expect your little babies to do in the coming days:
So far this is as far as we have made it, so this is where I will stop. I needed some inspiration to get creative, so I created this Gardening Creative on Pinterest. I bet you need some too, so go check it out!!
What are you planning to plant in your garden?