I recently got a message asking for advice regarding putting in a garden and starting seeds. I was so thrilled to be asked advice, that I’m writing a whole post about it. After all, it’s time to start seriously thinking about garden plans for the coming summer.
Most seeds need to be planted in pots long before the garden is ready. In order to grow varieties besides the fertilizer-drenched options at the local box store or greenhouse, you’ll need to think about picking out seeds from local seeds racks, or ordering from online seed companies.
Seed Planting Calendar:
Below is a general planting calendar for starting your seeds indoors. Keep in mind:you will likely want to stagger your plantings. In other words, plant a few seeds a week over a couple of weeks. That way you’ll be able to harvest continually and not end up with 200 lbs of cabbage at once!
- Bulb Onions (1-2″ cell packs)
Beginning of March
- Celery (4″ pots, may need to transplant into larger pots before placing outdoors)
- Cabbage/Brocolli/Brussel Sprouts (6-pack deep cell-packs)
- Lettuce (2″ cell packs)
- Peppers/Cucumbers/Tomatoes (4″ pots)
- Corn (4″ pots)
Plant directly in the garden by Memorial Day:
- Roots crops (turnips, rutabagas, beets)
- Green onions
- Salad mix
Soil for Your Seeds:
Many books say that you need sterilized soil for your seeds. I think that’s nonsense. In Alaska, I create a mixture of half topsoil and half local potting soil called Fishy Peat. You can find it at Alaska Mill and Feed in Anchorage, or Budget Feed in Palmer. I find that it contains a little too much peat — it can get easily water-logged — so I like to mix it with topsoil that tends to contain more sand. Soil should drain well but retain moisture. It should contain enough nutrients to give your plant babies a good start! Any mixture of topsoil, potting soil, and finished compost should work just fine.
**NOTE: I have tried using the MiracleGro “organic” potting soil before. Don’t bother. My plants never really thrive in the stuff.
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