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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My First Garden- Ten Tips For First Time Gardeners

Now, I should begin this post by letting you know I am not an expert gardener.  I used to help my grandmother in her garden when I was a little girl.  Then, I grew herbs, pretty successfully, here and there, over the last 14 years.  I am currently attempting to grow my own organic and heirloom vegetable and herb garden.

It seems to be going pretty good, so far.

I planted my seeds a couple of weeks ago.  These pictures show what is now happening, SEEDLINGS!  My arugula was the first to burst forth.  Next came my butter lettuce.  It seems almost everything has started to pop out now.  The hardest part, so far, has been keeping Boho from sticking her nose into the pots.  She's fascinated by them!

I've heard from a few people, who started their seeds at the same time, that they're not having as much luck with their seedlings.  I'm going to go through everything I've done to get my seedlings so healthy.  Like I stated before, I am not an expert.  So, feel free to use this information, if you would like.  It's worked for me.  I mean, look at my little seedlings!
1. Use quality seeds.  There are many companies who sell quality, organic and heirloom seeds.  My favorite is Planet Natural.  You can also find some great companies here.

2. Use quality soil.   This is the one I used.  I suggest organic soil, especially if you're growing organic veggies.

3.  Keep the soil moist.  Do not let your soil dry out.  I water mine every other day.  If the soil is still moist to the touch, you probably don't need to add much.  Don't drown them either.

4.  Read the packet of seeds for information on sun.  Some plants will require full sun, some partial.  Read and follow.  I planted all seeds that needed full sun together.  Likewise, with partial sun seeds. 

5.  Pay attention to your seeds.  Every day, I check on my seeds.  I make sure to move them as the sun moves around my three season room.

6. Keep pets and children away from seeds and seedlings.  This is the hardest for me.  Boho just wants to get all up into my dirt.  Just do your best to keep them away.

7. Protect them from the elements.  I started my seeds indoors. I highly recommend this.  There were a couple of days we had low temperatures.  I put warming lamps over my seeds.  It's a bit extreme, but it worked.

8. Be sure to mark your seed pots with what you're growing.  I was so paranoid that my labeled pics would fall out, I drew out a full planting diagram.  I wrote it's location in the room, what was planted where, and sun/water instructions. 

9. Talk and/or sing to your seeds and seedlings.  This one is optional.  But, I found mine really liked 70's tunes.  Like I said, optional, but recommended.

10. Show your seedlings some love.  I take pics of mine, tell them how proud I am of them, and share my coffee with them.  Actually, it's coffee grounds.  When I noticed my first seedlings popping out,  I put 1 tablespoon used coffee grounds into each seed pot compartment.  I, then, watered as usual.  Turns out, they really like it.  I add new grounds every other week.

I don't know if any of these tips will help your garden grow; but, mine seems to be doing exceptionally well.  Being a first time gardener doesn't have to be difficult.  Just have fun with it.  If something doesn't grow, it wasn't meant to be.  Chances are, you'll be able to grow at least a few things.  That will save you some money at the grocery store.

The next step for me will be transplanting my seedling pots into containers.  I'll be posting all about that experience.  I decided to do container gardening because I'm going to try to bring my garden indoors for the winter months.  We'll see how that works out.

Until then, good luck with your garden, and God Bless.


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