Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time to Plant!!!!

I have been anxiously awaiting this day for weeks now! After a very time consuming and laborious weekend of sifting my soil, I finally came to the realization that the shortcut I took last year by buying garden soil in bulk did not pay off at all!!! After all that sifting, I still had soil that was full of clay and turned into a lake of sludge when watered. So, in the end, I went and bought bagged stuff and started over...lesson learned: do it right the first time!!!! But what to my wondrous eyes should appear, but prepackaged square foot gardening mix, yippee!!! Mel Bartholomew(the creator of square foot gardening) recommends a soil mix of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost which is costly and annoying to mix for 4 beds...hence the reason I bought soil in bulk. But now they come in handy, dandy premixed bags, 2 cubic feet in size and costing $12.99. I'll take it!

So soil is ready (in one 3 more to go!) I soaked it really good so that it is nice and moist for planting (and the water just seeped right in like it was supposed to, big sigh of relief!) I soaked 8 snap pea beans in lukewarm water overnight to help jump start the germination process. I made my square foot grid by tying twine to nails drilled in at one foot intervals. So now it is time to begin. My little seedlings are dying to get our of their cubicles and spread their roots!

First I made my grids of where I would be planting. I planted broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in the single holes, spinach seeds in the square with 9 boxes. Chard, kale, lettuce and cilantro went into the 4 box squares, and carrots radishes and beet seeds went into the squares with 16 boxes. Snap peas went in a row at the top of the bed and will need a trellis to support them.

Where I planted my seedlings, I made depressions around them so water would easily absorb around the roots. Where I planted seeds, I made a 1 inch depression, filled it halfway with vermiculite, dropped in my seed and then topped it off with vermiculite. Then I lightly watered the seedlings and misted the seeds. I also planted late afternoon when the sun wasn't as hot because that can be a shock to new transplants. It is very important to keep the soil moist at all times so the new transplants don't dry out and the seeds can germinate.

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