Grow Your Own Victory Garden
Growing your own garden can be economical, healthy, fun, and educational for the whole family, plus you get tomatoes! Gardening can be that break you need from the hustle and bustle of the workweek. Gardening can be the connection you were looking for to get your child away from the X-Box. Dropping a seed in some dirt can do miracles for your health, family, and your pocketbook.
In the beginning, you might feel overwhelmed by the plethora of gardening catalogs and websites, so it’s best to start by trial and error. Here are a few idiot-proof tips for starting seeds indoors that will boost the beginning gardener’s success rate and confidence.
As the season progresses, Grass Pad nurseries will have vegetable transplants available for those that don’t have the room around the house to start your plants. Grass Pad carries all the most common vegetables in many varieties – things like tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, and all the types of herbs will be available in plant form. Date of availability will depend on weather, so call your local Grass Pad for more information on when to expect these plants.
Needed to Grow Your Own
Getting started growing your own gardens is almost idiot proof. These are the all the tools you will need to get started:
- Garden seed packs
- Plant transplanting trays
- Plant starting pots
- Plant starting mix
- Watering can
- Marking pen
Begin by making your seed selections early, come to the Grass Pad and wander through the thousands of new and heirloom vegetable and flower seed packs. Feel free to bring mail-order catalogs along for ideas and compare prices. Things to ponder, how much area will you be planting? And do you have full sun or shade areas?
Don’t use old seeds. The older seeds become, the less likely they are to sprout. Always look on the back of the pack for the “sell-by date,” planting depth, spacing, sunlight, maturity dates, and gardening tips for each variety. At Grass Pad, we receive fresh shipments of flower and garden seed packs at the beginning of each season and continue to refresh our seed racks regularly throughout the seasons.
When to Move Seeds Outside
Seedlings can be transferred outdoors when the temperatures are warm enough to support them. If you start seeds too early, you may need to “shift up” – or move the baby plants to larger pots to allow for more root growth before moving them outside.
In our area the average date of last frost is Mother’s Day. Check the planting chart on the back of the seed packet for the seed starting date.
Hardening Seedlings Before Moving Outside
The transition from inside to outside can be one of the most difficult parts of starting seeds indoors. If the move is too abrupt it can cause problems with the plant. For best results, follow these tips:
- Start moving the plants outside during the day and bring them in each night.
- Begin the transition stage 1-2 weeks before permanently moving them outdoors.
- Place the plants outside in a shady spot during the day. Increase the amount of sun the plants receive gradually each day.
- Avoid windy days and cold weather during the hardening process.
- Slowly reduce the watering schedule of the plant, but don’t allow them to wilt.
Choosing Your Growing Pot
You can start seeds in open trays, in individual plastic packs, or peat pots. Different containers are best because the less you disturb baby roots, the better. Some containers, such as peat pots, transplant right into the garden with the plant during transplanting. Plastic pots must be removed before transplanting.
At Grass Pad we have pre-assembled plant starting kits that include the plant tray, plant pack, dome and starter mix. All you need is the garden seeds of your choice.
Use Seed Starting Mix
Pro-MIX BX seed-starting mix is best for starting seeds indoors. Avoid potting soils with fertilizers – these are meant for mature plants and may do more harm than good for starting seeds. PRO-MIX BX is a solution for growers seeking to benefit from both the nutrient holding ability of vermiculite and a perlite content providing good drainage. Mixed with high-quality fibrous peat moss, this formulation is ideal for growers looking for a general purpose medium which creates a well-balanced growing environment.