We’ve had a very wet spring, and here in garden zone 7-land, it’s still too wet to plant in the ground. So wet that most of the potatoes planted ‘on time’ around St Patrick’s day, have all rotted away. Sometimes it pays to be a procrastinator.Some gardeners with more experience than myself are starting seeds which they’d normally direct sow into the ground, into seed starters, with the plans of transplanting seedlings once the ground dries up a bit.
So far I’ve started mainly tomatoes and peppers, but if the weather doesn’t give us a little rain relief soon, I’ll plant more seeds in cardboard egg cartons.
Why do people plant seeds, rather than just buy plants?
*variety–many seed distributors have dozens of varieties of your favorite vegetable, whereas the hardware or home improvement store likely only has 2-5 varieties, at the most
*with that variety, you can choose species of crops that are best suited to your climate, and best suited to your tastebuds
*cost–packets of seeds are usually around $2.50, and often contain more seeds than one home gardener can use. Splitting packages of seeds with fellow gardeners can lower the initial cost, and by saving seeds to use the following year, seeds can be a one time investment
*kids love growing unusual things to eat—purple carrots, blue green tomatoes, purple broccoli, and yellow strawberries all appeal to kids, and can get them involved and excited about gardening
*reviews of seeds–many online seed sellers allow gardeners to post reviews of their purchases, which can be very valuable–I’m much more likely to buy seed that others have had good luck with, especially if they’re in a similar climate to mine
We usually start seeds every year, and buy a few plants as well. Growing your own food is a great thing to do no matter how you go about it, but it sure is fun looking through all the varieties of plants that are out there.
Here’s what I’ve started so far:
24 Black Krim Tomatoes–considered one of the best tasting tomatoes
8 Hssiao His Hung Shih Yellow Grape Tomato–very productive and perfect for snacking–my boys eat lots of these
4 Jalapeno Peppers–we’re a divided family when it comes to hot and spicy food. I want to use the jalapenos for making jelly–for the easy take-along appetizer of pepper jelly, cream cheese and crackers. Also, I might try making hot sauce for my boys that prefer their food spicy.
2 California Wonder Bell Peppers–good standard variety–I freeze and dry peppers to cook with
30 Beefsteak Tomatoes–because we can’t grow enough tomatoes–I can as many as I’m able
10 Harlow’s Homestead Okra–we love okra, these seeds were given to us by a friend, and we didn’t grow nearly enough last year
4 luffa gourd–when dried, these insides of the gourds can be used for sponges–we’ve never grown these before, so it’ll be fun to see what happens.
Are you planning on growing anything this summer? What are your gardening plans?