By Mike Thayer
So I went through the seed catalogs and my seed stash yesterday, it's only January but boy am I ready for spring and getting my hands dirty playing in the dirt!
After thumbing through Burpee's, Gurney's, a couple of other catalogs and ordering some seeds I don't have and a few new ones I'd like to try, I took stock of the seeds on hand and getting some packets organized for pre-planting. Last year I set up an indoor planting station in my apartment, shelving, lights, planting trays, the whole bit. I've always got something growing at the station year round, but now it's time to really load it up for spring planting.
Having the planting station means far less time spent starter plant buying at the big box store and more time in the garden come spring time! Starting plants from seed rather than waiting until spring to buy those over-priced starter plants at Lowe's, Walmart or the local greenhouse also means saving myself a pocket full of cash.
Here's a neat trick if you've never tried it before..... It's something I tried a few seasons back with some success, starting some seeds in egg shells, an idea I found online. As you can see from the pic, dirt is packed in a carefully cracked and rinsed out egg shell. One thing you do want to do before packing in the dirt and seeds though is to provide some drainage on the bottom of that shell. You can either drill a small hole, or slightly tap the bottom to create an ever-so-slight crack without causing the whole shell to collapse. When the plants are ready for the great outdoors, you can transfer the plant, shell and all right into the garden or planter. Just crack that shell a little more when transplanting, to let those roots get all happy in their new home! I'm a huge user of putting crushed egg shells in the garden, as they add calcium and rid the garden of and prevent slug/snail infestation.
A variety of veggies, herbs and flowers were ordered from the catalogs, to include some peppers I've never tried. It seems I grow a hotter variety or two every year. I don't know if it's me growing a greater appreciation for hotter foods or if my taste buds are just flat wearing out and my tolerance for heat is higher. I do love a pepper challenge though! But I digress....
I love to garden, it's a simple pleasure for me, from creating veggie or flower beds, to planting, to weeding, to the harvest, from start to finish it's all good. And it doesn't get any fresher than going out to the backyard, patio or balcony and picking fresh produce for dinner.
$pend Wisely My Friends.....