Egg cartons, like popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners, are one of the quintessential craft items for school projects. You can turn an egg carton into a bird feeding tray or a spaceship. It’s perfect for holding odds and ends in your cupboard. And it’s perfect for gardening.
Starting a veggie garden from seed is a wondrous adventure. Nothing against seedlings; I still opt for seedlings for part of my garden. But it really is fascinating to experience nature as that tiny little seed germinates and grows. It’s just cool! I have to tell you the truth, though. As impressive as it is […]
Like many things in life, success in gardening is all about timing. Plant your tomatoes in October and it’s unlikely you’ll have much to show for your work. When it comes to starting seeds outdoors, timing is absolutely critical. Start your garden too early and a hard frost could ruin your seeds before they get started. Wait too long and your plants won’t have time to mature before the weather gets too inhospitable.
One would assume that starting seeds outdoors is as simple as putting them in the ground, throwing a bit of dirt on top, and leaving the rest to nature. I won’t say that method never works. It’s great for wildflowers and perhaps some hardy perennial herbs, but I can tell you from experience, if you want your garden to grow, you’ll need to put a little more intention into your efforts.
Seeds are a marvelous thing. Call me easily amused, but it’s just astounding to me that a handful of seeds can give us an entire garden full of squash, peas, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, broccoli, and so much more. And all of that – everything that ends up on your plate – starts with those tiny little seeds. Personally, I find a seed germination temperature chart to be helpful in making this all happen.
The other day, a friend of mine was working on a science project with her elementary schooler. It was the classic, but still really cool, experiment where you learn how to germinate seeds and watch them grow into little seedlings. They had a little problem, though. The seeds that they were originally trying to use would not germinate. At all.
I see it from the corner of my eye, the telltale green sliver poking up from the potting mix. Victory, thy name is Vegetable Sprout! My pride is brimming as I examine the pot from every angle, admiring my little germinated miracle. All melodrama aside, growing vegetables from seeds is one of the most rewarding gardening experiences because you get to be a part of every step of the growing process. One step that many folks get hung up on is trying to figure out how often to water vegetable seeds.
Starting plants indoors is a time-honored tradition in grade-school classrooms across the country. At some point, most of us have probably watched excitedly as a little sprout breaks out of the seed on its way to becoming a bean plant. Honestly, it still seems amazing every time I see a little seedling emerge from the soil. Maybe that’s why I enjoy gardening so much; it’s endlessly fascinating, not to mention those fresh veggies are unbeatable.
My first garden was a failure. Aside from a few herbs, I literally harvested nothing except for three tomatoes. The zucchini plant died before it produced any fruit. The basil was plagued by pests of some sort. I’m pretty sure the neighborhood skunks and rabbits ate every strawberry that looked like it might ripen soon. I didn’t know much more about gardening than I had to pull weeds and give it water. I didn’t know when to plant seeds, how to prep the soil, or even what would grow in the area I had chosen for the garden.
I’m a big fan of different seed germination methods. Why? A few years ago, I found an old packet of seeds for one of my absolute favorite heirloom tomatoes. I was so excited that I didn’t bother to get any other tomato seeds that season.