Less Noise, More Green: Planning for my 2014 Garden

Monday, February 3, 2014

Planning for my 2014 Garden

transplanting spinach seedlings, using grow lights, planning vegetable garden, urban farming,

There is a lot of planning go on around here. I have some different ideas and projects for my gardens this year and I am having a great time coming up with seed, plant and supply lists.

This week I completed my seed lists, placing orders with four different companies. Some of the varieties are tried and true but I chose many new ones, too. I am going to grow more flowers this year, many of them edible, and plan to grow most of them from seed. Last year I grew Marigolds, Zinnias, Nasturtiums and Geraniums from seed under grow lights and the results were very good. This year  I plan to add Lavender, Calendula, Sunflowers, Bee Balm, Black-Eyed Susans and Morning Glories to the list.

I have learned that the bigger the pot you plant in, the bigger the plant will grow.

My vegetable seed list is very long and ambitious. It always is! Each year I find new additions and eliminate ones that we didn't eat or that just didn't do well. As my growing space is so small, I really have to plan out the season and find varieties that will be happy where they are planted. I worked hard on that this year and will share more in future posts.

I have two varieties of spinach growing, one is open pollinated and the other is a hybrid.

New veggies for me this year will be parsnips (tried in the past with no success), sweet potatoes, leeks, patty pan squash, delicata squash, tomatillos and ground cherries.To make room for these, I have some new beds and container gardens planned. I am also giving up on trying to grow spinach outdoors, chinese cabbage ( no one eats it but me and it bolts too quickly!), broccoli rabe and multiple varieties of lettuce.

My spinach experiment is coming along nicely, as you can see from the photos. The seedlings are growing right on schedule and I have transplanted them into larger pots. Potting soil is the growing medium now and a good squirt of fish emulsion and a good drink of water will hopefully set them up for success. I raised the level of the grow lights to keep the effect of their heat on the plants to a minimum. I am approaching the time in the past when my spinach seedlings have bolted when grown indoors under lights. By keeping the room cool and the lights high, I'm hoping for better results this time.

My transplanting tool of choice is a modified plastic fork.  It is great at getting seedlings and soil out of small seed cells. I recycle plastic containers for use as seed pots by punching a few holes in their bottoms!

My planning goals this week are to finalize my crop rotation plan and to decide on the plants and design for the garden in the front of the house where I am planning big changes this year. This space gets the best sun and I'm going to start taking advantage of it!

Have you started planning your garden and ordering seeds?

We'll be back in the garden before you know it!


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