In my first post, you can see my little sprouts at a week and half... and here you see an enormous growth spurt. The kale, lima beans and cucumbers seem to be faring the best so far, but everything is growing!
It's still early enough in the season to start growing, and as promised here are the steps I took in starting my non-GMO, organic container garden. :)
1. Order non-GMO seeds from a reputable source – preferably one who has taken the “Safe Seed Pledge” – like SeedsNow.com. Their website is great, and I can’t recommend them enough! I ordered $0.99 starter packs, and that gave me plenty of seed for a container garden. I also made sure I chose my seeds by personality – plants that grow well in containers.
2. Order soil pellets. These also came from SeedsNow.com. You can get a pack of 25 for $6.00, 50 for $10.00 and 100 for $19.99. I used them for part of mine… and I’ve been extremely pleased. I had some concern after reading some negative reviews, but my little seeds loved the soil pellets, and transporting was not much of a problem. I did lose 1 kale sprout after transporting, but everything else has survived so far... and I'm new to this!
3. When you receive your order, place soil pellets in a shallow dish (like a pie pan or a plastic Tupperware bowl) and cover with lukewarm water.
4. When the pellets have expanded to about an inch and a half in height, you can begin pushing your seeds into the soil. For most seeds, you want to push them about a ¼” in the soil and be sure they’re covered. I planted 4-5 seeds in each soil pellet.
5. Now this is the hard part. Waiting. Be sure your soil pellets stay moist (not too wet). I usually just put a little water in the dish, so that the soil pellets can soak up the water through the bottom. The pellets retain moisture very well, so just be sure they are moist but not soaking wet. Be sure to place them in a window where they will get plenty of sunshine. You can take them outside during the day… just be sure they don’t scorch or get cold. Little seeds and sprouts are sensitive! :)
6. In a few short days, you should begin seeing sprouts emerge from the soil. Give them a week to 10 days, and then you may notice roots coming out of the bottom of the pellets. At this point, it’s time to transport your pellets to a large container.
7. Now it's time to start preparing the containers. One thing I love about container gardening is the variety of containers you can use! Coffee cans, baskets, Rubbermaid tubs, grocery totes – almost any container will do as long as you have sufficient room and draining. To prepare the container, first be sure there are 4-5 holes drilled in the bottom of your container if not using a planter (planters should already have sufficient holes). Next, line the bottom of the pot with broken terracotta pieces, rocks, or gravel. This will ensure proper drainage and prevent the holes from stopping up. After that, fill your pot with soil. There are plenty of options: organic potting soil, plain ol’ potting soil, potting soil with fertilizer. Choose whichever suits your fancy. A word of caution when using potting soil with fertilizer: Lima beans do not produce when you use fertilizer with nitrogen. The nitrogen will cause the plant to grow, but it will not produce any beans! And that really defeats the purpose of planting lima beans. :P
8. Once you have your container filled with soil, dig a shallow hole large enough to place your soil pellet in. Be sure to cover the pellet with soil allowing only the sprouts to stick out.
9. Water your container well. When watering while the plants are still seedlings, make sure you don't use too much water pressure. This can disturb the plant. Remember, little seeds and sprouts are sensitive. Use a watering pot that evenly distributes the water or use a "mist" setting on a water hose attachment. Give your plants
sunshine. Protect them from the cold. Water often! Soon your little plants should flourish!
There's nothing better than growing your own food and watching your little seeds develop into plants. Take good care of your little seed babies and they will take good care of you. :) Happy planting!
Grow free. Grow happy. Grow natural.