Morning all! Let’s talk garden! I’m going to share with you what works for me, and the reason why I do it the way I do. Many moons ago I went to an all raised bed garden plot and I’d never go back to the in the ground method again. Now that’s just for me, you may feel differently.
I love the convenience of the soil warming up quicker, better drainage which at times also means more frequent watering, way LESS weeding, and for me I’m better organized with what I plant and how organize my time to tend to each bed. I can visualize one raised planter at a time and know the outcome I’m striving for.
THINGS I GROW FROM SEED
Radish, Lettuce, Green Beans, Zucchini and Yellow Squash, Cucumber, Carrot, and Shell Peas get directly sewn from seed into my garden beds. All of these veggies do fantastic from seed and there’s no need in purchasing expensive starter plants. I dont know about where you live but this year I am seeing starter plants going for $4 per plant in my neck of the woods and that’s way to expensive for me, when a $2 packet of seeds can give me up to 25 plants.
Did you know you can get several plantings of radish and lettuce in a single planting season? Once you harvest the radishes plant again and you can keep a stead flow of them all summer long. Lettuce will keep reproducing on its own but it can also be replanted from seed several time. I like to do lettuce and radishes in pots on my deck. It helps the lettuce from not getting so hot and becoming bitter flavored and it’s quick and easy to gather at meal time.
THINGS I GROW FROM SLIPS OR STARTERS
Sweet Potatoes, Onions, and Potatoes are grown from slips or starters. You can purchase them at any garden center, online, or start your own from previous years harvest in the case of potatoes.
By the way dont’ forget today is the day I gather with the rest of the cozy living crew to share with you our best ideas for May. Our host Jennifer from Town and Country Living puts it together and keeps us all organized. To see what others are doing, click the thumbnail links below.
If you purchase organic sweet potatoes and potatoes from the grocery store you can use them to grow more in your own garden. Have you ever noticed if you leave a potatoes or sweet potatoes in your pantry too long they will sprout? This is the start of new life, the potatoes can be cut into section with eyes, hardened off and replanted. The sweet potatoes can be slipped by cutting and rerooting the new life that forms. Onions can be grown from seed but I dont have any luck with that method so I chose to spend $5 and purchase 100 new starter onions plants yearly.
THINGS I START FROM SEED INDOORS UNDER GROW LIGHTS
Tomatoes and all varieties of Peppers get started inside my home under grow lights six weeks before our last frost date. You can see how I create my own grow lights without the expensive of actual grow lights by clicking here. As planting time gets closer I take the already established plants outside to harden them off to all weather conditions.
If I have very old seed and I want to see if they’re still viable I will poke a few into some soil inside the cabin to see what will grow. I only plant 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash per year. I have some pretty old seeds so this year I’m starting them inside to see if any germinate. If not I will pitch the last of the seeds and use new seeds to plant directly into the soil outside when it’s time.
Never throw seeds away even if they are old, your rate for germination will decrease as they get old but it’s worth a try before buying more.
Things I don’t grow And Why
Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage are a no go in my garden due to poor yield and pest control. All three of these veggies are not worth the cost of purchasing a starter plant. Most starters are right around the $4 range, and you need one plant per yield. That doesn’t make for a very profitable vegetable. In my neck of the woods buying these items in the store or from a farmer are more cost effective. I also find they require more care to yield a crop. They’re all prone to bug infestations that are hard to control so here in Michigan I choose not to grow these 3. Now you may have good luck with them but I don’t.
I also choose not to grow, Pumpkins, Melons, and Winter Squash and here’s the reason way….Space. These three are space hogs compared to their yield. Now if I had a large rambling field it would be a different story, but with raised garden beds these are a no go. These all have large vining plants, that can be started with seeds, but they take up a lot of room for the few pieces of produce you’ll get. For me it’s not worth taking up an entire 4X8 bed to get one watermelon or one pumpkin. Theses items are also prone to beetle infestations and sometimes you grow an entire crop to only be take out by squash beetles.
I have 14, 4X8 raised garden beds and I can produce an entire years worth of vegetable for my family. I do can, freeze, and dehydrate everything we produce. We also eat all season long from the fresh produce. If you’d like to see my raised garden bed set up you can see that HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I hope you were able to get some good ideas here today and dont forget to click those links below!