Getting the hang of gardening

I’m starting to figure out what works for me in terms of gardening. I start seeds indoors on a seed tray, keeping them cat-proof by stashing them in an indoor greenhouse. I don’t get enough light indoors, so I move seedlings out to larger containers in a small outdoor greenhouse, or in the pots on the deck. As seedlings grow, I move them into the garden bed, where chickenwire keeps them safe from squirrels and birds.

How is this better than planting directly in the ground?

  • Because I start the seeds in sterile soil mix, I don’t have to figure out whether a seedling is one of my plants or a weed.
  • It’s easier to weed around larger transplants than in a seedling bed.
  • I make better use of the sunny garden areas because I don’t have to wait for seeds to start.
  • I can use a heating mat to germinate seeds that need warm temperatures (bitter melon, canteloupes).

Things that are doing well: cilantro, lettuce (many kinds), tomatoes, spinach

  • My dad said that my grandfather used to rotate yellow beans in his very big garden. He said they returned nutrients to the soil (plus, you got nice beans!)

    Where did you get the seed trays from

    • I started with the Jiffy seed starting trays, which were okay but a little shallow. I’m trying out Rootrainers now, which I got from Lee Valley Tools. But I think my best results have been from recycled yogurt containers and milk boxes…