It’s March!! Our long, cold winter has seemingly come to a sudden halt. If you want to grow a spring garden, you better start now before the brutal summer weather arrives.
I spent this past month starting seeds, which up until now, is not something I have ever done properly. Seed starting just seemed too tedious for my lifestyle. I mean, why do all that work when you can just plant them (aka randomly toss them) in the ground to begin with??
But, I bought some interesting varieties of seeds from Baker’s Creek, like purple broccoli and 5-foot-long beans, and I wanted them to grow. I took the time to start the seeds in trays and I actually enjoyed the process, so, I decided to up my game.
A month later, I’m realizing that this is a way more efficient way to garden.
After a few mishaps, I came up with a seed-starting setup that works best for me. I bought 10 heavy-duty seed starting trays from Amazon, filled them with Coco Loco soil from Rockledge Gardens, then planted the seeds.
I set the seed trays on a wire rack on my back patio.
I water them every day (or when the soil looks dry) with water from my fish tank using these little squirters – which I love for watering. It was so much fun to check on their growth each day, and they were conveniently placed on the back patio, so I never forgot about them.
When the seeds start sprouting, it’s time to get them some sunshine!
I have 2 spots that I move the trays to. The first spot is underneath pallets that are sitting on cinderblocks. Here, they get some sunlight, but they’re also in the shade so they won’t burn.
My other spot is under a cover that I made with chicken wire on it to protect them from hard rains, squirrels, birds, chickens, and my children.
When they’re big enough to transplant, I carefully pull them out with whatever random, skinny tools I can find. Then, I plant them in the ground along with a scoop of healthy soil from my homemade soil bin.
It’s important to have super healthy soil near a plant’s roots. But what makes soil healthy? The microbes! These super tiny creatures live in the soil and turn organic matter into a form that plants can consume. My motto: the more microbes the better.
They live on our eyelashes, our skin, our teeth, and especially our guts. They keep us clean and defend us from disease and we sure don’t give them the respect that they deserve.
Although scientists are just scratching the surface when learning about the incredible world of microbes, we do know that they are extremely important.
In preparation for my last seminar and Garden Club, I fell deep down the rabbit hole of microbes and discovered some important ways that these super-tiny creatures impact plants, our health, and the planet. It’s fascinating and something people need to understand.
So, when you’re gardening this spring, please keep in mind that your job as a gardener is to feed the microbes. Then, the microbes will take care of the plants.
If you don’t have a compost bin (yet) to feed them from, I have found FoxFarm liquid nutrients (also sold at Rockledge Gardens) to be a product that I feel comfortable using in my garden. Remember, the microbes are super tiny so you don’t need much at all.
So, happy gardening! See ya in April!!