When does one plant their seeds?
When I was growing up with little or no knowledge of how things grew, mostly I was used as a tool for weeding by my mom, I would look at the back of seed packs to figure out when I was suppose to plant. Some not so great seed packs would say plant in March- April. Of course this always depended on the zone we lived in. I was 13, I did not even know what a zone was. (we are zone 10 by the way.) Others got more detail and confusing if you ask me. They would say “plant 6-8 weeks after last frost”?!?! What does that mean? How can I tell the future. Always without fail there would be another frost and my seedlings would freeze. Some would say plant indoors till danger of frost was over. My mom did not like that plant indoor thing. They would always end up all over the floor and taking up valuable space in the kitchen, although our floor was a dirt floor anyways. Still, this was not a good idea. This was before I knew all the ends and outs of planting indoors and what it actually takes to accomplish such a goal. Sure anyone can put some seed in the soil and then water. With any luck, something is bound to come out, even if the quality is bad. Well, I am here to say that I have learned from my mistakes and have some different advice for planting.
First, one does not become a gardener or a farmer or a rancher overnight. This is something that takes years of mistakes and attention; Attention to the weather, to the plants and to the animals. It’s sort of like a feeling…when we are hungry we eat, when we are cold, we put a jacket on. It is the same as a gardener. It feels like seed time? Yes, you must have a general knowledge of what goes in the ground at what time. For example, tomatoes like sun, lettuce don’t like heat, peppers like sun, corn like to be close to each other. (no one likes to be alone. :() SO yes, a general knowledge of what you are growing is important, but then comes the feel. I am going off feeling and I am a good week and a half late, but that’s ok.
Another thing. Greenhouse=good. A greenhouse helps in so m any ways. I don’t have to worry about a frost because all my plants are protected. I do however watch the weather like a hawk like any farmer. Lets face it, spring has sprung I don’t care what any calendar says. We are in northern California and here we have about 1 month of winter, sometimes longer but not often. We have a nice fall and a couple months of spring and the rest is all summer, which is perfect for most of the plants we grow (not for me or my leafy greens.)
Here in northern California we are blessed with sun and soil. For this I am very grateful. And so according to my planting radar…it is seed time (you should have purchased your seed in December or January).
My little ones are just learning the intricacies of placing a seed in the soil.
First you put the seed and then you water…Done. She did a great job for her second year on the job.
Todays planting consisted of various types of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce. We also planted a few Peruvian delicacies, aguaymanto and some ajis. I simply can’t wait to put those in my mouth, but of course I will have to. Rio did her own planting of sunflowers. Sunflowers are a great thing for the little ones to grow because they are big seeds and grow relatively easy. We will be growing several types of sunflowers this season. Rio and her cousin will have the opportunity to sell the heads as bird food or the other types as floral arrangements. She is super excited about the idea of being a flower saleswoman. I suppose I better build her a booth to sell from. Yikes.
Even my 2 year old was helping with the watering. What child does not like to play in the dirt? Most kids play in sandboxes, mine play in dirt boxes. Ah the memories this brings back. I and my brother grew up playing in dirt, throwing it at each other and of course hijacking my moms good pans to cook with. She was very forgiving about it if I can remember correctly. Of course her good pans where the pans that were not burnt at the bottom, she never owned $50 pans. And good thing because they would have ended up outside.
So alas, seeding is here, but remember, not everything belongs in a pot, many things like to go straight into the ground. For this you can learn from a good garden book. I highly recommend The Vegetable Gardeners Bible by Edward C. Smith. It gives great well rounded information about many of the plants we grow, plus a lot of extra information on how to have a healthy garden.
So plant when it is time! not when they tell you it is time, because how do they know?