Starting seeds

Starting a garden for the first time is a lot of guess work. Take a chance and keep my fingers least its been that way for me. So we bought our house, we were in the process of renovating/moving and I also wanted to start seedlings so they would be ready come spring. Well, our new house is at a much higher elevation and the weather is much different so I’m not sure what the weather patterns are. Plus, its in a very small town and I had no luck looking up frost records from previous years. I just gauged it by the next biggest town’s average temperatures however our weather can be quite a bit different as we are over 1000 feet higher.
My solution was to start my seeds in cycles a few weeks apart.
My first round consisted of peppers and cherry tomatoes which I started in February.
Mid March I started more of those and strawberries.
Late March I started corn, more strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli.

Starter tray
Starter tray

I started most of my seeds in these little starter sets that include the tray, lid, and soil disks. Soak the dehydrated soil disks in water until they expand, drain the excess water, insert seeds and cover. The material that holds the soil is biodegradable so you don’t disturb the roots when transplanting. Watching these guys sprout was very exciting. I don’t have a grow lamp so I was hauling all of my starter trays to different parts of the house to get the best growing conditions. They quickly took on an almost pet-like roll with the feeding, taking them out during the day and bringing them in for bed.
I have all my start dates recorded so I can adjust them for next year. My plan is to keep records of as much as I can so eventually this gardening thing wont be so much guessing.

About Rhi

Rhi enjoys spending time with her family and working on the homestead. During spring and summer she is often found tending to her garden, and mini-orchard.

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  1. Great Job starting the garden. Did you look into/or are you using heirloom seeds? You can collect seeds from your harvest and use those the next year. The hybrids don’t give you the same luxury. Harvesting seeds from hybrids will be a guessing game as to what variety of plant you end up with the next year.

    Try and plant as many perrenials as you can as well. We have grapes (several varieties), artichokes, asparagus, strawberries, rasberries, and potatoes that were planted once but have returned the following year. I believe we are near the same elevation (1800 ft), so you should have similar success with these.

    We don’t expect any seedlings planted in the ground before Mother’s Day to survive. Yet, we always are fooled by a March or April warm up and stick something in the ground that we started inside – and everytime!!! there is a late chill that wipes them out. We never learn!

    Last year I had great luck with a hard red spring wheat that I grew to harvest. When I tried the hard red winter wheat I had no luck at all. I think because all the fields were green in the spring, the deer left the wheat alone, but in the fall the wheat was the only thing green for miles – and unless I was going to sit out there each night with my shotgun – the wheat never stood a chance.

    Our pig pen has become a bed of squash and melons – all the excess that went into their pen last fall has come up and we are letting it grow. We’ll get to harvest what’s in there, use the plants to green manure/rototill into the pen, then put two more pigs in there for this fall/winter. Kind of a full-circle win-win.

    Best of Luck to you!!!

  2. Thanks Dennis!
    We did use heirloom seeds for everything 🙂

    Good tip on perennials! We haven’t planted potatoes yet but plan too, and we have TONS of wild blackberries so that will be great. Our strawberries didn’t go to well, next year maybe! We are at 3600ft, weeeee bit more snow I’d imagine 🙂 We couldn’t put anything in the ground until late May or early June… we got snow in May (not much but temps below freezing).

    The pig pen sounds like it’s worked out great!!!
    We still have to rebuild our chicken coop, and get it setup for winter too. Hoping to get there before winter but the house needs work still. (Slow on updating house progress!!! So much more to do).

    Thanks for the post and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog 🙂

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