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BEACHLOVR's Photo BEACHLOVR Posts: 1,419
9/9/13 7:41 P

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Thank you. Checking it out now.

"The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself."




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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,132
9/3/13 5:04 P

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To grow sprouts the equipment can be as simple as a wide mouthed jar, some cheese cloth and a rubber band. You can google the instructions how to grow sprouts. This will give you a lot of results, most of them similar. Read a few of them and see what you think. You can also spend the money to buy equipment to grow sprouts but from what I have been told you don't need to waste the money.

BEACHLOVR's Photo BEACHLOVR Posts: 1,419
9/3/13 12:06 A

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Would like to start growing sprouts. Can anyone recommend a good resource for beginners?

Thanks for your help.

"The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself."




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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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7/12/13 11:04 A

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Here's a SP article with tips on how to use all those tasty herbs we've been growing.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti
on
_articles.asp?id=297


-Cathy
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PATTISWIMMER's Photo PATTISWIMMER Posts: 4,763
7/12/13 9:06 A

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Sprouts can contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables... growing sprouts at home is another form of organic gardening

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,132
6/5/13 1:57 P

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WTG
Lots of good tips!
Keep them coming.

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6/5/13 12:14 P

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If you keep adding a blend of compost from different sources, you will find you don't need to worry about testing the soil.

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BEACHLOVR's Photo BEACHLOVR Posts: 1,419
6/5/13 11:51 A

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Thank you for the tips. We have stopped using regular soap and was wondering what to do with it, hanging it around the garden is perfect. Will call a groomer about the dog hair, it makes so much sense because you can really "smell" a wet dog.

I lost about half the tomatoes I put in and the others are not taking off...so he tilled another area last night and we are putting in another 28 tonight. I don't think I will ever try starting them again myself. They just didn't get big enough to handle the outside. I guess I would have to start them earlier and/or need a greenhouse. I just don't have enough room and light to start them early enough and put them in pots. They are only 60 cents a piece at a local nursery so I think I will stick with her from now on.

DH plans on adding Garden Tone and compost during planting tonight. Soil is untested and formerly lawn, no pesticides or fertilizer on it in many years. Wish us luck. He also is taking a soil sample of the garden area in tonight because he is sure it needs to be amended. Wish we had done it earlier.

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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (142,718)
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6/5/13 8:58 A

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Thanks I've tried some of those tips and will try the others.

I found my bunnies snack on marigold also but they don't chew it to the ground.


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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6/4/13 11:11 P

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I've used a product called "hinder" before. It makes the leaves taste bitter, so rabbits and other animals leave them alone. Best to use before the rabbits start nibbling, as they will believe those plants taste terrible right from the start and tend to leave them alone. It too has to be reapplied after a rain. But it is formulated to use on edible plants, where most repellant sprays are only for ornamental plants.
Dusty miller and marigolds are supposed to help repel them (I planted dusty miller around the rose bushes I planted in my daughter's front yard as the rabbits had started eating them, and it seemed to help. Onions also are supposed to repel rabbits, so if you could plant some of them among your other plants it may help. Not sure if other members of the onion family, like chives, would work the same, but if you like them, it can't hurt.
Dusting your plants with wood ashes, ground limestone, or cayenne pepper while they are wet with dew (to help it stick to the plants) may also help.


Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 6/4/2013 (23:22)
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6/4/13 10:02 P

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Last fall, I put my dog's fur in my garden boxes. (4 x 4) It kept out rabbits and squirrels. The squirrels liked to dig and bury acorns before I did that. And rabbits never touched anything. You can ask a groomer for a bag at the end of their shift.

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6/4/13 9:26 P

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I haven't been monitoring this area lately and I'm wondering if anyone has had luck dealing with ravenous rabbits. I'm spraying a product called Liquid Fence.It works until it r rains then the buffers come back and double down on the eating. I just can't fence everything

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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (79,932)
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5/28/13 12:24 P

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According to researchers at the University of Essex in England, spending just 5 min. in an outdoor activity is all you need to improve your mood & self-esteem. For the greatest mental health benefits spend your time outdoors near a body of water.



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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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5/28/13 9:10 A

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We rent garden plots from the park district and they are right next to the woods. When we were driving in the fence posts, we had 9 deer show up to watch us. One was brave enough to come within 30 feet of us, nibbling on the string we were using to keep the fence straight, and rubbing his head on the posts we'd already put in. He's been back since, standing near the outside of the fence while we were working inside. We also have raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, and mice to contend with there.

While a fence alone is not enough to keep the deer out (unless you can put one at least 8 feet high), we also hang old nylons with deodorant soap in them from the fence. You can also use dog hair (if there is a groomer in your area, ask if you can have some of the hair). These actually smell stronger after a rain, instead of having to reapply.

Since deer are vertical jumpers, standing right next to the fence and jumping over, you could use 2 4-foot high fences placed 3 feet apart, which they are less likely to try and jump over. If you have the room, you can also put wood or metal fence posts at an angle from the top of your fence to the ground several feet out, and string twine or wire between these, using strips of cloth to mark them so the deer can see them. This too makes it less likely that the deer will try to jump over your fence.

We've also tied brightly colored plastic ribbon on the top of the fence or on a string above the fence, as the ribbon blowing in the wind startles them. And you can also use Hinder either on the plants themselves or on strips of material tied to the fence. Hinder is the only deer repellant that I know of that is for use directly on food plants. The sooner you apply it the better. Also works for rabbits. It makes the leaves taste bitter, so if they nibble on them once, they are more likely to avoid yours.

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BEACHLOVR's Photo BEACHLOVR Posts: 1,419
5/28/13 6:47 A

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Thank you! My DH tried planting vertically and went back to the ground, can't remember why, might be because they were easier for the deer to get to. We have 2.5 acres and at least 1.5 is wooded. We are basically in the woods with all the wildlife to share what we grow. It is quite a chore to keep them away since we no longer have a dog.

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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5/24/13 10:57 A

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Cucumbers like beans tend to dwindle after awhile. For a continuous harvest, you need to make a second planting 3 to 5 weeks after the first, and a third planting another 3 weeks later, depending on the length of your season.

-Cathy
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BRAVELUTE's Photo BRAVELUTE SparkPoints: (80,646)
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5/23/13 12:27 P

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I use the square foot gardening method. For cucumbers, you provide vertical support and make one row of cucumber seeds set at the spacing recommended on the packet. So if it said 12 in. apart, I'd put one seed along the back row in every 12 inch square (as opposed to putting the seed in the middle of the foot square) where my support stays. The vines cover the supports. Every 2 weeks, i plant one square to extend the season. But I notice the ones planted late don't have nearly the harvest of those planted at the beginning of the season. But they do produce. So stagger planting might be the answer??

I have my trellises on the outside of each box on the west side to shade the crops that bolt early here in Florida. So cucumbers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas go in the 4 squares on the west side of each frame.

One source on the internet puts the trellis down the middle of the 4 squares and plants 4 seeds (every 3 inches) on each side of the trellis. I'd have to feed extra if I did that, I believe. A little too close for me.




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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,132
5/23/13 11:57 A

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I grow my cucumbers vertically. It saves a lot of space in my small garden, I have 6 ft tall round cages made of hog wire, about 2 ft in diameter and put about 3 plants per cage.

BEACHLOVR's Photo BEACHLOVR Posts: 1,419
5/23/13 7:26 A

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We started many cucumbers by seed in the house this year and planted them in about half the available space and were thinking of sowing seeds too. We wanted to extend our harvest this year since it seems like we always get a huge amount and then it dwindles when we are still ready to keep eating and pickling.

Is there a recommended spacing time for doing this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Edited by: BEACHLOVR at: 5/23/2013 (07:26)
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5/11/13 11:51 P

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Thanks for taking the time to teach me about this. I knew about growing the shoots, but NOT about the problems with allowing the ones left in the ground to continue to grow.
I'll work on this on Monday evening.

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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5/11/13 11:13 P

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Yes. The shoots should have roots attached. Just snap them off carefully so you don't break off the roots, and then plant them. When starting sweet potato slips yourself, you usually wait until the shoots are about 6" long before detaching them from the tubers, then bury them up to their top leaves. They will form additional roots along the buried stem, just like tomatoes do. If the shoots are longer, you can still bury about 6" of the stem under the soil. I have some that are already forming vines over a foot long, so needless to say I will be leaving lots of the vine above ground once I am able to plant them ( getting down to the 30s for the next couple of nights so still too early. I plan on planting them in individual pots until then).
If you want more sweet potato vines, you can always bury the potato back in the ground to see if any more shoots form, which they have done before for me.

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5/10/13 6:12 P

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All right, So I think I would pull these up, break off the new shoots and plant them?

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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5/10/13 3:37 P

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Be sure to dig them up, carefully remove the slips from the sweet potatoes, then replant the slips. If you leave them attached to the sweet potato, they will continue to feed the original potato instead of forming new ones. The original potato will grow to the size of a small football and be quite woody and inedible.
Learned that one from experience.

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5/10/13 10:34 A

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Re planting sweet potatoes whole: I missed several when I harvested late last fall. I have at least 6 coming up right now from them after overwintering in the ground.

Edited by: BRAVELUTE at: 5/10/2013 (10:34)
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SUMITH2008's Photo SUMITH2008 Posts: 5,063
3/28/13 11:44 A

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Bottom water your plants. This avoids excessive watering and avoiding accidental splashing of water on plant leaves that can lead to foliage deceases.

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EEVEE1's Photo EEVEE1 Posts: 4,426
3/28/13 7:55 A

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once your sweet potato is groing well, cut a few stems off and plant them. They will reroot easily and you will get a few more plants. I rooted a couple of stems last fall and have had them growing as a houseplant all winter. The leaves are apparently edible for salads and stuff too.

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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3/26/13 1:21 P

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Sweet Potatoes.
If you want to grow sweet potatoes in your garden, you can grow your own slips. Just put a sweet potato sideways in seed starting mix, sand, sawdust, or chopped up leaves, being sure to cover it 1 to 2 inches, and keep the soil moist, not wet. Do this about 6 weeks before the planting-out date. Unlike regular potatoes, you can't just cut them in pieces and plant them in the ground (or plant small ones whole). You do need to start the slips, then once you have healthy roots and the sprouts are about 6" high, you carefully cut the slip away from the original potato. It helps to cut off the bottom inch of the slip to help reduce tuber-borne disease problems (don't cut off all the roots). If you plant them potato and all, the plant ends up feeding the original potato instead of creating new ones, and you have a sweet potato the size of a small football that is extremely woody and inedible. How do I know? Because that's what I did one year!

If your slips are ready before the weather allows you to plant them outside, then just pot them up in containers until you can transplant them. Larger pots will allow the roots to spread out instead of getting cramped and tangled.

Mice do love sweet potatoes. I planted some 2 years ago and the crop did very well. But the mice discovered where I planted them and ate most of them in the ground, leaving only the ends and the smaller ones for me! Haven't figured out how to keep the mice out, but I'm looking into it (we've had garden snakes patrolling our gardens in the past, but they must have taken that summer off).



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3/12/13 1:17 P

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Where can I find the podcasts for Mike McGrath? I would love to hear them.

-Cathy
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NGCHILD's Photo NGCHILD SparkPoints: (94,447)
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3/6/13 6:25 P

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Thanks for the info -- I will have to check it out!

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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (142,718)
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3/6/13 3:55 P

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Does anyone else have a gardening podcast worth listening to? I'm not nuts about Mike McGrath but he may be the best out there at this time.

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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,954
2/19/13 10:02 A

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Here's good info for growing heirloom tomatoes:

www.johnnyseeds.com/t-10_Tips_for_He
ir
loom_Tomatoes.aspx?source=E_JSSAdv02R>2013_Readfulltxt&utm_source=Newslett
er
&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=J
SSAdv0
22013&lm=jony#readfull



I have to admit that I never prune my tomatoes but I think I will try it this year, as well as spacing them further apart and maybe installing drip irrigation.

Edited by: GABBY308 at: 2/19/2013 (10:03)





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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 968
2/18/13 12:33 A

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I just spent most of a 6 hour drive listening to podcasts of Mike McGrath's public radio show "You Bet Your Garden" if you haven't listened, try it out. I'm just itching to get out in my yard and plant something.

Janey

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (73,520)
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1/28/13 3:39 P

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Companion Planting - Tomatoes

Tomatoes are compatible with chives, onion, parsley, marigold, nasturtium, carrot, and garlic (garlic helps protect tomatoes against red spider mites). Basil helps protect tomatoes against disease and insects, but since it is small, you want to plant it in a row next to the tomatoes instead of planting it among them.

Tomatoes protect asparagus against the asparagus beetle.

Tomatoes and all members of the Brassica (cabbage) family repel each other. Don't plant tomatoes near corn since the tomato fruitworm is identical with the corn earworm. Tomatoes don't like kohlrabi or fennel either. Don't plant near potatoes either, since that weakens potato plants and makes them more susceptible to potato blight.

Tomatoes will protect roses against black spot. If it is not convenient to plant tomatoes among your roses, you can make a spray out of the leaves. To make a spray for roses, puree tomato leaves in a blender or juicer, add 4 or 5 pints water and a TBSP corn starch.. Strain and spray on roses.


-Cathy
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1/28/13 3:27 P

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COMPANION PLANTING

Companion planting is the practice of planting planning your garden to put plants together that seem to benefit each other while keeping plants that don't get along away from each other. Plants can assist each other by repelling insects that bother others - like carrots repel onion flies while onions repel carrot flies. Some provide protection to others, or provide nutrients that the other needs. Some plants will weaken each other since they compete for the same nutrients, attract the same pests, and/or their roots grow in the same area.

This has been practiced for a long time, even if it wasn't called by this name. For example, planting corn, pumpkins (or any vining squash), and pole beans together. The beans used the corn to climb on, helped strengthen the stalks against the wind, and put nitrogen into the soil which the heavy feeding corn needed. The large leaves of the squash vines shaded the soil which made it harder for weeds to grow and rob nutrients from the soil, helped retain moisture in the soil, and repelled raccoons who love corn.

"Carrots Love Tomatoes" by Louise Riotte is an excellent guide to companion planting in the garden. "Roses Love Garlic" is her guide to companion planting in the flower gardens. I don't know if these are in print anymore, but you can always check with your local library to see if they have it or are able to get it. They come in very handy when planning out your garden.

-Cathy
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1/17/13 5:11 P

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STARTING SEEDS #2
If it says sow seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date, I prefer to shoot for the 8 week date. If for some reason it is a cold spring, I just transplant the plants into larger pots and just bring them outside during the day and inside at night until it is time to plant them into the ground. But what works best for me in the Midwestern USA might be entirely different in other parts of the country or in other countries. You could always use trial and error, and sowing some seeds at 8 weeks, some at 7, and some at 6 and see what works best for you. Be sure to mark each sowing and keep track of your results for next year.

Here are the sowing times for many vegetables, from the Rodale's Garden Answers book. All are based on the average last spring frost date for your area:
14 weeks before: Brussel sprouts
8 to 10 weeks before: hot peppers
8 weeks before: Broccoli, Cabbage, Leek, Lettuce, Onion (Ive seen anywhere from 8 weeks to 12 weeks for onions), sweet pepper
6 to 8 weeks before: Eggplant (my seed packet says 8 to 10 weeks, so that's what I go by), Tomato, Watermelon*
6 weeks before: Cauliflower, Cucumber*, Muskmelon*, Squash*.

*Depending on your growing season, most members of the squash family will do just fine planted directly in the ground. Muskmelon and Watermelon like warmer soil temps and need a longer growing season, so it doesn't hurt to start them early, though I've often seen recommendations of 3 weeks before instead fo 6 weeks, because they do grow fast. If you want to start these indoors, remember they do NOT like having their roots disturbed, which will temporarily stunt their growth. So it is best to plant the seeds directly into individual peat pots and then plant pot and all into the ground when it is time.

-Cathy
Central Standard Time Zone

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1/17/13 4:39 P

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STARTING SEEDS
First off, most vegetable seeds need to be started 6 to 12 weeks BEFORE they are to be planted outside. If you are ordering seeds, make sure you get your order in soon, so that you will be able to plant them in time.

You can start seeds in a commercial mix or make your own with equal parts of vermiculite, milled sphagnum moss, and perlite. Fertilizer is not necessary since the seeds contain the food the seedling will need initially. If the mix is dry, you need to moisten it BEFORE planting seeds. Put it in a bucket and add a bit of warm water and stir. Keep adding water until the mix is evenly moist (when squeezing a handful, only a few drops of water should ooze out). If it is too wet, add more dry mix.
If you don't have commercial seed starting trays (about 6" x 9"), use recycled milk cartons, mushroom cartons, etc, cut to be about 2.5 to 3" tall, and punch drainage holes in the bottom. Seedlings will be transplanted into individual containers once they have a few true leaves. Fill the containers with the moist mix, tap to settle. Scatter small seeds evenly over the surface (not too thickly), poke holes for larger seeds, or make rows of the correct depth for ones like tomatoes. If seeds need to be covered, sprinkle additional mix over the seed to the correct depth. Be sure to label each tray. Use a sprayer to mist the soil, instead of watering with a watering can, until water runs out the bottom. Cover the soil to keep in moisture - wet newspaper, clear plastic seed tray covers. You probably won't have to water again until after they start growing.
Place in a warm spot - top of refrigerator is one place. Check daily and remove newspaper or other covering as soon as signs of growth are seen. Once plants emerge, they need to be placed where they will get plenty of light - south facing window, under a grow light placed 4 to 6 inches from the tops of the plants. Turn daily to keep the stems from developing a permanent bend towards the light. Brushing your hands gently just across the tops of the plants once a day if possible helps strengthen the stems. If you have lots of plants, you can also turn on an oscillating fan, on lowest setting, on the plants for a few minutes to get the same effect. This simulates the effect that wind would have on them if grown outside. Keep the plants moist but not wet. Water from the bottom instead of the top to keep from knocking the plants over, but don't let the trays sit in water. If the surface still seems dry, you can mist it. Once the seedlings develop a few leaves and are ready to be transplanted into individual posts filled with regular potting soil, you should probably start feeding them as well, with a weakened fertilizer solution.

-Cathy
Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

Organic Gardeners team leader
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1/17/13 2:49 P

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Would like to do a tip of the day, but I can't guarantee that I'll be posting daily. Feel free to add your own tips to this thread.
-Cathy


Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 3/25/2013 (13:57)
-Cathy
Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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