In my readings lately I’ve come across a few different pointers on planting seeds. Square Foot Gardening recommends planting your seeds in vermiculite while Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening recommends worm castings. So in my square foot garden I planted all my seeds in vermiculite, and in my test garden in castings. In the square foot approach Mel Bartholomew explains that he uses vermiculite to keep moisture around the seed and make a light substance for the seedlings to push through. Turns out both worked well.
Week old Pole Beans
The process was a fun-filled day. Amber came over, we bought a few beers and spent the day mixing compost, fertilizing soil and planting seeds.
Earlier in the day I had gone to The Natural Gardener to stock up on compost. While talking to the busy bees that work there I learned that my clay-filled soil, which already had a good amount of their hill country soil mix added to it, would need a revitalizer compost. So I bought several bags and went about filling them up and lugging them to the car. That was of course after I spent about an hour browsing and thinking about what else I might need. But if you know me well, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I ended up buying fertilizers, bags of potting soil, and minerals. The one plant I managed to make it out of there with was a plant that I’ve been casually looking for going on a year now, a Mexican oregano that I hear does very well in this part of Texas.
So when I got home Amber came over to be my company for the day. We started off by mixing in the compost. Then I sprinkled in a Lady Bug all purpose fertilizer that I saw my new Master Gardener friend, Nancy, using a few days before. Wow the dirt looked so good. I was excited, and Amber couldn’t wait to start putting things into the ground.
A few days before Nancy had given me free rein in the Sunshine Community Garden’s green house. I got to take anything I wanted home. I had to take about three trips to the car. I took several types of chard, peppers, a couple more tomatoes, and several things I thought friends would like.
So armed with veggies and many seed packets we got started. In the square foot garden we did a square of 2 cucumbers, 7 pole beans, 4 chard, 9 bush beans, and 2 squares of 4 nasturtiums each. Everything except the chard was from seed. In the test garden with revitalized soil we planted 3 types of peppers, 2 chards, 2 Asian greens that sort of look like chard, and 2 zucchini from seed. Over the seeds I decided to create mini greenhouses from some chicken wire I found by the side of the house and some thick plastic. I wanted to protect them from animals and torrential rains. I was so glad I did because it did rain hard a few days later.
Our seedlings are in there itchin to get out!
Now its about a week and a half later and our seedlings are up and growing. I had to make Amber come over to check them out because I was so excited. As if people haven’t been doing this for thousands of years.
The Spacemaster Cucumber
The Square Foot Garden. I just have one more square to fill and I have to clue what to fill it with...