Growing My Way to Happiness! A Review!
Many studies have shown that Growing a Garden reduces stress and increases your happiness with just getting your hands dirty. As I review this idea of growing seeds for the garden, I agree that these studies are true. I know that in my own life, as February is coming to a close, I start to look for those little signs that spring is indeed on it's way. Little sprouts coming out of the ground are cause for me to jump for joy! My husband still doesn't understand that completely. Oh well, I can't explain it any more than to say my heart does indeed leap with joy, and I know that better days are ahead. No more Seasonal Affected Disease and no more need to sit under lamps to get us out of our "funk". The countdown is on for when we can really get our fingers into the ground and just feel wonderful.
Snow Bells in Springhttps://pixabay.com/en/flower-rod-snowdrop-garden-nature-2080981/
So now that February is almost done and we can honestly say that Spring is just around the corner, it's time to get those seeds started that we saved from last year. Just to be on the safe side though, don't start just yet. It is still February!
Preparation is the Key to Successful Spring Seed Growing
All of my die hard gardening friends have already been to at least one "Seedy Weekend". What is that, you might ask? Well, for anyone who lives in an Urban area with either Greenhouses or a Botanical Garden nearby, most of these will have a late winter get together called a "Seedy Saturday or Sunday". The whole point of the weekend being that gardeners get together to share the abundance of seeds that they have saved from their own gardens and share with others for seeds that they might have. It increases the number of seeds any gardener has and let's them share stories of their own particular gardens with like minded people. It really is a social for gardeners who have missed being outdoors during the winter months. If you are in the Toronto area for a visit, this weekend is the Toronto Botanical Gardens Seedy Saturday(Feb. 25), so come on over for some fun and some great new seeds.
Back to preparation for Seed Sowing
Make sure you have purchased new seedling soil for your seeds. You never want to reuse soil from previous years, as they might be harboring bacteria that will be harmful to new seedlings. This special seedling soil is composed of a mix that contains very little "soil or dirt", rather it is made up of moss, vermiculite and perlite. These can be purchased separately and mixed together one part of each, or you can purchase it premixed. You can fill up your home made containers, using newspapers, or half egg shells, or half a toilet paper tube. All of these would be perfect for seed starts and are bio-degradable. It also makes it so much easier to plant in the garden afterwards because you just plant the whole thing into the ground. No need to disturb young forming roots.
Have whatever containers you choose to set up for your seeding, on heat mats. You are trying to make the seeds think it's May with nice warm soil to grow in. Warm soil and lots of light are the two most important things you need to start your indoor seeds off right. If you just plant seeds into little pots and set them on a window sill, you will surely get the seeds to grow, but they will suffer in a few weeks time. Why? Well it's really just too early for them to growing without some added help. Warming the soil with heat mats is akin to being outdoors in May. The sun warms up the soil outdoors so that seeds will germinate and grow. The days are getting longer with more hours of sunshine available than in March, so that the seedlings that are growing in the ground will be hardy and strong. Indoors we need to mimic the garden in May as much as possible if we want strong seedlings. Without the added attention of heat and light, your seedlings will be tall, lanky and very spindly looking. Most often they will fall over because the stalks are not strong enough to hold them upright. Once that happens you can almost count the days to total death of the seedling. All that work is gone and you have to start over again, if you have enough seeds. If you don't you will be buying more seeds in short order to start all over again.
Indoor Gardening Done Right
If you decide that you really want to grow your seeds from scratch in the early months of March and April, then be prepared to have the right set up in place. Yes there is a bit of effort involved, but the end result will be well worth the effort. You can purchase an indoor garden set up with shelves, heat mats and lights all in one unit. This is usually more than enough for your average home gardener. You are not going to become a commercial greenhouse operation, but you will have lots of seedlings for your garden and maybe some friends too. Doing it this way is a little expensive, but you would have the unit for years to come. I prefer the doing my seeds with heat mats and grow lights that I have purchased separately. For my garden needs, this is more than enough space to grow seeds. You have to decide for yourself which set up is right for you!
Happy Gardening and Seed Sowing to all of you!
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