Friday, February 14, 2020

Garden Friday-Five Ways to Start Your Spring Garden

buttercrunch lettuce
Welcome to Garden Friday!
We're still dealing with wild and wicked weather,
so the ability to get much planted is still on hold.
I did manage to sow some leek in seed trays,
while I keep hoping for a break in the weather.
I'm in good company though,
 as it seems that most of the country is dealing with similar conditions.

There are a few necessities when you are a gardener.
One is soil of some type.
When starting seeds in containers or trays,
I prefer to use organic seed starting mix,
and I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago
to see that stores were starting to carry it,
even though we are still in the throes of winter.
Its light and airy quality gives seeds the best chance
of taking root and germinating.
Potting soil or compost can be used as well,
with the addition of an aerating medium, such as vermiculite.


 The other necessary item is some type of seeds.
These can be purchased online or by catalogue,
as well as in your local big box store.
I lean toward organic seeds,
and am working on acquiring more heirloom varieties.
With just these two items,
you can grow yourself some food!
Okay, the soil and the seeds have been obtained,
what's the easiest way to get started planting?
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Here are five easy ways to get your crops on!


 These peat pots can be purchased in the garden section at most big stores.
They start out flat, but when soaked in water,
they poof out like magic.
They remind me of the puffed pastry shells at the grocery store.
The center hole you see here will be the planting hole.
Once the seedlings emerge,
the whole container can be transplanted.
No waste!


 Being the frugal gardener that I am,
I usually find a way to repurpose something 
we already have around the homestead.
These toilet paper and paper towel rolls do the trick quite nicely.
Once the cardboard roll is formed (see that here),
the soil is added and the seeds are planted.
Again, the entire container can be transplanted,
as it will break down over time and feed the soil.

Another recycling idea is to reuse the plastic pots
and seedling trays that have been purchased over the years
with new plants in them.
These can sometimes be found at thrift stores or yard sales as well.
This particular type of container can't be put into the ground,
but these trays can be used over and over.
When they are no longer in good condition,
they can be taken to your local Lowe's,
where they send them out to be recycled.


 Along the same lines, recycled storage tubs
can be planted with things like carrots, garlic, 
leek, onions or even sweet potatoes. 
Depending on the depth of the crate,
root veggies can do quite well and remain in place until harvest.
This lends itself well to those who don't have an established garden
and need to keep things containerized.
Pretty much anything can be grown in a container.
Check out my friend Lynn's 7,000 square foot container garden
under all the "Farm School" posts beneath the header..


The fifth way to get your spring garden started 
is with straw bales.
These can be purchased from big box stores, feed stores,
or your local farmer.
We have been blessed to be able to acquire these organic bales
from a gentleman who sells off all of his extra bales
for three dollars apiece.
They work great for cucumbers, flowers, okra and strawberries.
The great thing about this type of growing,
is that once the bales have exhausted themselves as a growing medium,
they can be used in the compost heap or around the homestead for drainage issues.
They work well for a full year before needing replacement,
and again, there is no waste.
I even use the baling twine that they are wrapped in
for little jobs around the homestead.
This option would be ideal for those without any garden area in which to grow,
or for someone who has mobility issues.
The bales can be placed on a concrete driveway or a deck,
making gardening easier for someone with problems getting around.

2019 garlic
 These are just a few of the ways to get started growing your own food.
As with anything that's being tried for the first time,
it's best to start small and build on with each success.
It is a real thrill to bring something into the house 
that you've grown from seed, nurtured and harvested.

 "Life begins the day you start a garden."
 – Chinese proverb


  1. I finally went through my seeds this week, and hope to soon be planting some. I wasn't aware Lowe's will recycle plant pots. Good to know!

    1. Yes, I need to get busy on my seed orders. It'll be here before you know it!

  2. I really admire how organized you are and the clever ways you come up with to reuse and repurpose things!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I do my best. I love me my Mother Earth!

  3. Oh, how I wish I could find organic straw around here. It makes me leary to use the straw we have available, and yet---what other choice is there. My hope is that letting mother nature cure it over this winter will leach out any toxic residues.
    That said, we scored 12 bales of straw last fall at a local grocery FOR FREE (!!!!!!) They couldn't get rid of all their supply from fall decorating and kept reducing and reducing the price. Hubby and I went shopping there (thankfully) the day they decided to just offer it up for free. Took them all SCORE!
    I marked the date on my calendar to check again this coming fall. Hopefully I will luck out again,

    1. What a fabulous deal! I look forward to seeing your gardening posts this year.
      Hope all is well.


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