Sarah may be in Illinois, but her mind is in the same place mine is–the vegetable garden. However, Sarah’s doing something that I’ve never tried before–starting her own plants from seed. She’s sharing the lessons she’s learned and the progress she’s made so far.
Every year Steve and his parents have grown a very large garden. And when I came along six years ago, I jumped right in to help and have become more and more interested every year.
I had always planted a few tomato and pepper plants before, but until I started helping at Steve’s I had never seen broccoli, or cabbage or brussel sprouts growing in a garden.
For several seasons I have tried to start plants from seed. And that usually starts off great and then fails miserably.
Steve likes to say that I have a “brown thumb” but that isn’t really true.
I just am terrible at hardening off the starts. I am impatient, and I am forgetful! So I push plants to be ready when they are not, and I forget to water them or forget to bring them in during the hardening phase.
This year I am going to use my “word for the year” that I mentioned around New Year’s and I am going to FOCUS on the hardening off process.
This weekend I started my first seeds. I looked up online when the last predicted frost for my area will be and it said April 18. So I thought this was the perfect time to start some kale and lettuce.
Now I am going to make note here for the future that Steve says his farming sources predict a late frost for us and that we could get a frost up until May 5. That is a huge difference and I am really curious which source will be more accurate.
Over the next week or two, I plan to also start tomatoes and pepper plants from seed.
I found some plants on sale and used a black marker to label them. I was sure to not only write the variety of the plant but on the back I also wrote the brand of the seed. That way I can make notes of which seeds worked best and then I will have reference of where to buy my seeds in the future.
My mom and I had placed a small order for seeds and plants and those arrived last week. So besides the kale and lettuce seeds, I also had to do something with the strawberry and asparagus starts that I had ordered. Since I do not have my raised beds ready yet, I just stuck them in a bucket and pot temporarily. But now making those raised beds needs to be a priority.
While I was digging through my gardening supplies I found a grocery bag with daffodil bulbs from last fall. So when I say I am forgetful, I am not exaggerating.
I stuck them in the ground since they were still alive, and I reminded myself that “FOCUS” has to remain my theme!
Next post I will update with the progress of my seeds.
Do you have a green thumb or a brown thumb? Do you have any helpful hints for the hardening off process? Do you have trouble staying focused?
Good luck, Sarah. Funnily enough, plants are one area where I get impatient or forgetful too. I hope you find your focus this year. I’m looking forward to following your progress–and seeing who’s right about the last frost.