Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time to start your Tomatoes and Peppers

Spring is on the way!
We at Life Seed Company recently attended the Colorado Garden and Home Show. it was great timing for us as it is now time to start your tomatoes and peppers as well as other start indoor crops.
It is ideal to start your tomato and pepper plants from seed indoors at around mid to the end of February.
It is also a good idea to start planning your garden and purchasing your seeds. You should start planting your cool weather crops such as peas and lettuce in mid march.
One great way to start your seed (this is the method we are using) is to place the seeds in a wet paper towel (or hand towel.) make sure the towel is wet enough to drip but make sure that the seeds wont be in standing water! Then place the paper towel in a plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and seal it. I would recommend having some air in the bag. Place the plastic bag in a warm dark place. Seeds germinate the best at 65 and higher degrees Fahrenheit. Once the seeds have sprouted I transplant them into plug trays although you can plant them directly into pots if you wish. I have found that most of the seeds germinate within 3-5 days. I have also been able to grow seeds that I have been struggling for years to grow using this method. Some seeds require nicking or soaking overnight in water. I personally have not had any success with the soaking method if I sprout the seeds in a paper towel. I have found nicking the seed to work extremely well however.
You can also start other plants indoors now. A friend of mine starts some of all of his vegetables now so that he can start getting zucchinis and other produce only 2 weeks after transplanting into the garden! That means he will be eating off of his garden by the first week of June. He then starts more of his plants later so that when the first plants start to slow down he can replace them with young vigorous plants and get two crops a year off of his garden! (by the way that does not necessarily mean starting the second batch indoors, You can plant the seeds directly into the garden after mothers day.)
Spring is going to be here so soon and it is time to get going on your garden. time to start tilling and putting fertilizer down (Fertilizer is especially important if you are using a type that burns plants as you will want to put that down at least a month before you plant.) time to decide what you will be planting and for the square foot gardeners it is time to consider how many days the plants you want to plant will take to produce and how long they will produce before they stop and can be replaced by another plant.
I myself intend to try some "square foot" gardening as it will be a new experience. (We live on 5 acres and the only space problems we have are if we can get on the tractor,rototill more ground and get water to it.)
It will probably be an interesting year.Best of wishes for your gardens.
I will try to post some pictures soon.