Sunday, February 3, 2013

Time to think about summer

Here it is, the first week of February and I am just now getting started on transplants. Oh dear! I might have to start using the chick light in order to make sure these little guys get the growth they need!

"What on earth are you talking about?" I think you might be asking yourself.

Mid-January to early February is a good time to start seeds for summer veggies here in the Old Pueblo. You obviously need to start em inside because we do get a few freak frosts between now and march 15 when you are good to transplant into your garden. In the mean time, your little guys can grow up in doors. I have found that transplanting works much better in Arizona than outdoor seed planting. For whatever reason, I can only grow carrots in a direct to the ground seed fashion.

So how do you start this process? Well there are some little kits you can buy at Target that are pretty easy, they have little pills that expand into dirt when they get wet. Then you just press your seed into them, keep them watered and in the sun and you are good to go. This year, we went a more "homemade" route.

First we had to find a potting soil that was organic, in order to keep up our organic veggie garden status. The pills in those little planters are not organic, FYI. Target actually sells a pretty awesome potting soil, if you are interested. It's nice an dark and moist when you open it. It just feels like something that would grow things well.

For the record, yes, we really did do all our planting at the dinning room table today. Farm baby doesn't let me sit on the floor very easily these days!

Farm husband made little planters out of toilet paper tubes. You might have seen this on Pinterest, I think that's where he got the idea. You simply cut them in half and then cut one end into fins that you fold over.

Now before I show you this next picture, I have to say, we do NOT go through this much TP in a short period of time! We are lucky enough to have a family member that owns a catering business and uses a LOT of paper towels. You can make three of these little pods out of a paper towel roll. :)

We made two trays about this size. Obviously, you just spoon your dirt into the little pods about half full. Then put down one see in each pod, near the middle. These are all tomatoes, different varieties. It's difficult to see the seeds. But below we have green beans and cukes, much easier to see

The kids both helped. If you have kids, this is a really good way to involve them in growing their own food. It could be coincidence, but our kids eat a lot of dark leafy greens and veggies that normally kids wouldn't because they see it come out of the garden and they get to pick it themselves. Green beans are super easy to grow, very healthy, can nicely and are fun for kids to pick. If you only plant one veggie for your kids I'd do that one. If you plant two, do the multicolored carrots :)

Finally, once the seeds are all dropped, cover them with a little more dirt, and spray them with a spray bottle. Find a home for them in your house where the windows are nearby and they get lots of light and sun.

Like I said earlier, I started a little late on these guys, so I might need to give them some artificial sun to get them up to snuff in time. We'll see. My plan would be to involve the light we use to warm up chicks when they are little. It's a red light so it won't be so harsh on the little planties. But again, we will see! Maybe they'll take off all on their own!

So have you thought about your summer garden? What are you planting? I'm thinking about corn this year down with my green beans. I would have to put that straight into the garden though so that's a liiiiiiiitle bit scary!! Anyone ever successfully grown some back yard corn?

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Location:The farm

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