Wow, December is almost gone which means planting time in my area of desert climate is just around the corner. So, to get ready, I planned out my new garden, counted my seed needs, rounded up and will plant my seeds to meet all my needs. Now I know there is the issue of germination rate and I still have not seen a good formula for calculating it. The best advice is because it depends on the quality of your seeds. Since mine this year are pretty good, I will plant and hope for the best. Now, to achieve as much success as I can, I have picked some good quality potting soil (because I am not in the position of making my own … yet), a controlled temperature area to put the seed trays in, and my new fancy, home made light stand. I am using a standard fluorecent bulb since that is all I have access to right now. I have seen people achieve good results with them, so that is what I am going with for now. To also achieve success, I have made the seed growing area neat, clean and asthetically attractive to my family, thus attaining domestic tranquility. This way I am assured of real estate usage INSIDE that has controlled temperature qualities instead of having the area placed (thrown out?) OUTSIDE where it is cold. 🙂 The next step is decide when the last frost date occurs then count back 4-6 weeks and start my seedlings then. I am not sure how to find that data yet as I can’t seem to find it on the Internet and the locals I ask don’t seem to know either. It can snow here (it did just 2 weeks ago briefly) in January but also sometimes in February or March. And there was the unusual year it snowed in May. Well, I will venture a guess it will be in February sometime but will keep you updated. Here are some pictures of my new seedling growing area.
Note this has the potential of being two story. It can hold 4 trays of 72 seeds in each tray. I may set-up a light below to help 2 more trays get growing.
Here is a top view.
Personally, this is the most exciting time for me-planning and getting ready for a great garden. Oh, I should add I am rounding up all my needed seedling numbers in case some don’t germinate. I also am going to put only one type of seed in each plastic “6-pack” container (there are 12 in each container). This way I don’t get the plants mixed up like I have done before! I hope all goes well.
To also prepare for a successful garden, I have been learning new companion planting ideas to try out. Companion planting is where you put one plant next to another one when the combination can be good for both. Sometimes one plant can help nurture the soil in a way another plant needs it (such as legumes trap nitrogen in the soil for corn) or one plant can repel the bugs which feast on another plant (like garlic or basil help tomatoes). There are lots of video’s on Youtube for this and books as well. I am getting pumped up about this years garden just writing about it!