Sunday, March 22, 2009

seed starting

From the day we made the offer on the farm (3 days before we found out we were expecting Ben), I have been dreaming of having a vegetable garden. During the winter I researched planting times, starting seeds, and the basics of gardening. Josh visited the extension office to get regional planting times and recommendations, and based on that and my web research I created an ideal planting and harvesting calendar. However, because of our precious arrival, things got a little delayed, so I'm late in starting some of the seeds. Today I started celery, lettuce, onions, spinach, peas, parsley, tomatoes, okra and peppers.

This is what the very tentative schedule looks like:

Late March: Start celery, lettuce, onions, spinach, peas, parsley, tomatoes, okra, pepper seeds
Early April: Start basil, beans, and marigold seeds
Late April: Start corn, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin seeds
Early May: Transplant celery, spinach, basil, cucumbers, okra, beans, corn, marigolds, peas, lettuce, onions, parsley; plant carrot seeds directly in garden; start second round of spinach seeds
Late May: Transplant peppers, pumpkin, tomato, watermelon and cantaloupe; harvest lettuce, spinach, peas, okra, beans
Early June: Harvest lettuce, spinach, peas, tomatoes, okra, peppers, beans
Late June: Start second round of beans and lettuce seeds; harvest celery, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers
Early July: Harvest onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, second round spinach
Late July: Transplant second round of beans, spinach, and lettuce; plant second round of carrot seeds in the ground; harvest tomatoes, corn, second round spinach
Early August: Harvest corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, second round lettuce
Late August: Harvest second round beans, second round lettuce
Early September: harvest pumpkins, second round beans, second round lettuce

I realize my plan seems quite ambitious for someone who has not done this before, but I've got the time and space, so why not. If some of these things don't turn out, I'll try again next year - no harm done.

Here is the "before" picture of my garden space.

I am hoping to have it tilled this week and this coming weekend Josh and I plan on building raised beds. We are also looking at fruit trees to plant along the driveway. I think those would make a great gift for my first mother's day.

Ben was less interested in my gardening plans, but he did well in the Bumbo chair and the Snugli while I was planning and planting.

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