Seeds Of Change - Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...) Blog at - 216855

Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...)

Seeds Of Change 
Jan. 12, 2011 10:27 pm 
Updated: Jan. 13, 2011 9:09 pm
The Holidays are behind us and the New Year is upon us. For me, January has always been the month I clean, sort, organize and plan. I clean out drawers, closets and cupboards. I sort papers needed for taxes and organize my office. We’ve got plans in place for a few short trips and our main vacation. 

So, with all our plans, hopes and dreams for 2011; we now turn our thoughts towards spring. Sitting warmly inside by the fire while all lies dormant outside, my husband and I plot the garden. (He’s also currently designing a structure for a new “chicken run/raised garden bed”) But, the best part of all our planning is plant and seed selection. When it’s cold outside, and it appears as though no life exists, it’s so much fun to look through a go-zillion seed catalogs and make long lists of things we’ll plant when the weather permits. 

For me seeds represent the cycle of life and new beginnings. Over the years of purchasing and starting seeds, (and owning a retail garden nursery  ….long ago), we learned that to guarantee bumper crops, we needed to buy seeds from our area. Yes, it does matter where the seeds come from.

Seed companies in each region conduct trials to determine which varieties grow best in your area. I.E., what works best for your general soil type, your climate/weather conditions, and the pests and diseases common to your neck of the woods. So, whenever possible, buy seeds grown and adapted to your specific region. Having said this, Heirloom seeds sometimes can only be purchased through seed companies that are not in your area or region. We almost always purchase a few Heirloom varieties from other  regions of the country. 

After you’ve selected and purchased your seeds, how do you know what your seeds want? Here are the 3 keys to successful seed starts.

1)      Germination: Getting seeds to pop, so to speak. They need moisture and warmth . Don't let your seeds dry out. And, maintain a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees. You’ll need some sort of heat source, like a “seed start heat mat” to set your trays on.

2)      Growing the seeds out: A very light fertilizer charge is all they’ll need until you plant. And, light for 3-5 weeks. A simple florescent light will do. They produce NO heat and are low energy. There’s no need for a full spectrum light on these little guys.

3)      Hardening Off: Set outside for a little while every day, bringing in at night until you transfer them to their spot in your well prepared garden.

So, our grandiose plans for our perfect garden are well underway. The catalogs are worn from page turning, the pages are dog-eared from page saving and the wish is growing. The Seeds Of Change? Yes….. Spring will be here before you know it.  I think I’ll look that list over again to see what “Seeds I Need.”
Jan. 13, 2011 5:33 am
oooooo I love Spring and the promise of Summer it brings! I LOVE gardening and have a small plot where I keep herbs and a one tomato plant (yes... ONE...I said it was small!LOL) I use the hanging upside-down thingie for the tomatoe plant and it works extremely well. I have been hoarding seed from different peppers so far this winter, Cubanelle, Poblanos and sweet orange and reds...I will try my hand at growing them in pots on the patio this summer as I do not have enough room in my garden to plant them, while my yard is really lare, I have a huge water obstacle hogging all the sunny space (a pool) :) sooooo, we shall see what happens with the peppers, I would like to start them indoors but don't know when, never started seeds before so I guess I have some reading to do! and by the way, I live in Southern Ontario (Canada) and the earliest to plant anything outside is mid-May...which seems soooo far away at this point... GREAT BLOG! and very informative too! :)
Jan. 13, 2011 6:04 am
Nicely written, Candice! The thoughts of spring planting turn to the two trees I must remove to make space for our vegetable growing. A lot of work but the effort is justified by the produce we'll get. We don't have the space for growing our own plants so we will continue to buy them at the greenhouse.
Jan. 13, 2011 6:47 am
Love it Candice and what a wealth of info you are! I've never started seeds indoors that I can remember, I usually just start them directly in my garden beds. There is just nothing as thrilling as seeing that little seedling break the ground and start that upward climb. See you next week!
Jan. 13, 2011 7:00 am
very interesting & informative
Jan. 13, 2011 7:01 am
I really need to proof what I, lots of typos! so sorry and hope you got the 'gyst' of my ramblings! :)
Jan. 13, 2011 9:11 am
I did my very first garden last year. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed building it, planting it, stewarding it and harvesting it. I'm glad I finally got old enough to understand what a joy a garden can be while I'm still young enough to move loads of dirt!
Jan. 13, 2011 9:34 am
Hi Gitano, even a small plot can produce a respectable crop of goodies. You talked about your one tomato plant. One plant can yield tons of tomatoes. This year I've ordered a patio thingy for our tomatoes I saw on one of my client's patio's last year. My husband always plants about 4-6 plants and they take up so much room. Peppers: Ooooohhhhh, Mr. Orangezest is going to plant peppers this year. He's been playing around with them recently in recipes and wants to grow his own. I may come for help on variety selection. We actually have a saying here in the NW.... "garden in by Mother's Day." Some years the weather doesn't cooperate. And about that large water obstacle; I love to sit by the pool sipping a frosty beverage. Hint, hint. Have a great day. BTW, I didn't have any trouble getting the gist. Sometimes my fingers can't keep up with my brain. hehe
Jan. 13, 2011 9:41 am
Good Morning Mike, thanks so much for dropping by. Wow! Removing trees is a huge job. Where I live you must get a permit before you can remove ANY tree. They're very protected in our area. Even on your own property. We don't start everything from seed. Some plants are tricky, so we get some starts from the Garden Store Greenhuse too. I'm excited to hear what everyone will be planting this spring.
Jan. 13, 2011 9:51 am
Hi Avon, We had never started plants from seed either until we had a nursery. Plugs were too expensive and OrangeZest said "I can do this!" And, well.... he did. (Of course he did. He can do anything.) Plus he really gets satisfaction from seeing a plant through from seed to harvest to putting up for the winter. And, we both get very excited when those little fellas and little gals push up through the potting soil reaching skyward. I Can't wait for Sushi Night either. See you next week. Have a great day!
Jan. 13, 2011 9:54 am
Happy Thursday GASHMOMX3! thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment.
Jan. 13, 2011 9:55 am
Gesh Gitano! I need to proof too.... "gyst, not gist." Holy Moly!
Jan. 13, 2011 10:02 am
Hello Raedwulf, Congratulations on your first garden, but be careful! Gardening is addictive. hehe. In some circles even competitive! Last year, my town started a Community Garden for those with little or no room in their own yards. We drove by all the time to see the progress of the garden spaces provided. Holy "special" garden spots! They were beautiful; labeled and even decorated. Can't wait to hear what you'll be planting this year.
Jan. 13, 2011 1:31 pm
this is too funny Candice, I just pulled in some potting soil from the garage so it could thaw and get ready for planting. I have to plant snap dragons and dusty miller next week in order for it to be ready to go outside at the end of May. Tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, etc will get started end of Feb. I think of you way south and on the west coast and imagine you can plant well before I do, posts on the RE make me anxious and I want to get going. Gardening is my quiet time, listening to nature relieves all stress. Nurturing seedlings, watching them grow, mature and produce food is very rewarding. Then July/Aug hits and I am in canning up to my eyeballs. We need a gardening tips blog. Now I am going to dig out my seed catalogue:) thanks!
Jan. 13, 2011 1:32 pm
Candice ~ if you can find your way to Southern Ontario this summer, I'll have a deck chair and a cold bevvie waiting... :D
Jan. 13, 2011 1:33 pm
you following me RG? LMAO!
Jan. 13, 2011 5:10 pm
Well Gypsy Girl, Anne & I are planning a road trip....... we could head north.
Jan. 13, 2011 5:21 pm
Hi there RN Gramma, Hubby just planted Walla Walla Sweets and Shallots in the designated onion bed. (BTW, they're at the foot of my Holly Hocks; good garden companions) And, our loam will be arriving in a week or two. We generally take some for seed planting. Hopefully, the seeds will be here by then so we can "Let the seed planting begin." I'm with you. I love to be outside in my garden getting my hands in the dirt. There's almost nothing better.
Jan. 13, 2011 7:44 pm
Hi candice. My mom-in-law is the gardener (I'm the weeder/picker:) Winter wonderland outside my window right now, but you've got me hankerin' for the first, fresh off the vine tomato of the season...mmmmmm...Yummy!
Jan. 13, 2011 9:09 pm
OMGarsh Mangel, that FIRST tomato is like waiting to see who gets picked for Miss America. We go out everyday as they're ripening to see which one will make it as the "First Picked." Then we run in the house, cut it in half, each getting a half and gobbled it right down...hanging our heads over the sink, juice dripping down our chins. Geesh, now I'm really hankering for a ripe "fresh off the vine tomato", as you say! Thanks for dropping by.
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I am a wife and mother of 5 grown children. Being semi-retired has allowed me time to do things I've put off doing; like really learning to cook and bake. I also love to garden, read, scrapbook and just recently I've gotten into geneology. I am loving this phase of my life with my husband and family.
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