Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seeds!



Starting seeds!

It's pouring down rain this weekend, but all next week is supposed to be sunny. My goal is to get the early spring vegetables in my very first garden plot in the Remington Community Garden.

I'm excited for the picture above because it really shows the variety of ways you can get seeds.

Beans and hot pepper seeds were easy to collect from last year's plants because they dry right on the vine.

Broccoli rabe and pumpkin seeds came from friends I met at last year's Maker's Faire, and I got tobacco seeds by sending an email to a Texas blogger who had some to spare.

Packets of ornamental flowers, corn, and tomato seeds were from a free giveaway at Mill Valley.

The only seeds I really bought were my early spring vegetables like beets, radishes, carrots, and peas from Baker Creek, as well as herb seeds from Horizon Herbs. I also picked up some kale from Baltimore's own Meyer Seed Company.

Another way to propagate plants is from cuttings or shoots. I've talked about aloe propagation before. This time I thought I would try lavender cuttings from a plant I bought last summer.



While a lot of the seeds I have need to be sown directly into the soil, I did start just a few seedlings several nights ago.

Here is the set-up with my grow light:

Luffa seeds are in the big basket. Tobacco seeds are in another container, and I also made some cactus cuttings along with the lavender. Hopefully tomato seedlings will be started in a few weeks.

In the summer I may convert this seedling table into a little growing area for lettuces and other herbs. A mini salad table of sorts.

It's still cool outside, but I believe it's a good time to put in kale, beets, radishes, carrots, and peas. If everything works out well, I'm hoping to grow those early spring crops until the beginning of June.

Then I plant on putting in a trifecta of beans, corn, and pumpkins in the Three Sisters style of companion gardening. I'll try to squeeze a few tomatoes in there somewhere. The plan is to have those crops grow from early June to September-ish. Can any experienced gardeners let me know if that timing seems about right?

After that I figure I can squeeze in a few more fall crops like beets and daikon radish, and maybe even put in some garlic to overwinter. Then it will be time for a cover crop to leave over the winter!

In between all of that I hope to put in a few flowers and herbs like sunflowers, lavender, tarragon. Those types of plants help to attract pollinators as well as predatory insects that can feed on mites and other pests that destroy crops and spread disease.

The Remington plot is going to be stretched to the limit with these food crops, so I'm hoping to get some space at Participation Park for herbs and flowers. I also am hoping to use their good, strong chain link fence as a trellis for my exciting project of growing luffa seeds to use as all natural sponges.

I've got a few organic potatoes from last year's CSA sprouting in my fridge so it might be nice to figure out space for a potato tower too...

Can't wait to harvest a few choice plants so I can collect their seeds for next year!

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