Garden – 2021: 3/8/2021

On February 11th my wife and I started our seedlings. Now, just so you are aware…I’ve never, ever tried to grow my own plants from seeds indoors. Yeah, never. But, last year’s experience taught me two main things…1) get a jump on the growing season by using healthy well started plants, 2) those plants referenced in #1 are getting really expensive and weren’t easy to come by last year. So that led me to the decision this year…grow my own starter plants. And I spent a whole lot of time researching the right ways to do all of the above.

As I was saying on 2/11 we planted our seeds. On 2/18 they looked like this.

Everything looking good for our plants…but the picture shows one HUGE mistake…any guesses?

If you guessed the onion set starter box you would be 100% correct. The box is way too big, the dirt way to deep, and blocks out way too much sun for the other plants.

If you are wondering why we started what we did, here is the explanation:

  1. Opinions – We love to use onions in a lot of what we cook. They are pretty easy to grow, can thrive in our climate, and taste really good. They also store reasonably well, and can be frozen.
  2. Tomatoes – This could easily be the root of our diet. We love tomatoes! And we are most fond of Roma and cherry varieties. The cherry tomatoes go into salads. The Roma tomatoes get eaten whole, sliced on sandwiches, cooked into sauces, and dehydrated with a little olive oil and Italian seasoning on them. Roma tomatoes tend to be meatier and less juice…exactly what we want.
  3. Peppers – Similar to tomatoes…they go into just about anything. We do a couple of primary things with them; 1) they get made into a pasta sauce that is out of this world good, 2) diced dehydrated, 3) turned into a “shaker pepper”. We take all our left over peppers, dehydrate the crap out of them, then put them all together into a blender, and blend them until the consistency of a coarse black pepper. We vacuum seal the coarse powder into small pouches…about a 1/2 cup. When the time comes we open a pouch, put the contents into a shaker and we have a really, really good pepper seasoning.
  4. Watermelon – it is juicy, refreshing, and hydrating. Sitting outside on the patio on a warm summer night eating a piece, or ten, of watermelon is simply divine.

And we have to start cantaloupes soon. They didn’t have the seed last time we were in the store. We will check tomorrow. Then they get started as well…in the most prominent spot of course! Nothing better than eating cantaloupe picked fresh off the vine early on a summer morning for breakfast!

So here is some information that I hope helps…

And in case you are wondering…no, it is not too late for most people to just be starting their seeds indoors. Most plants can be started indoors 4 – 6 weeks before transplanting outdoors. So you should have enough time, maybe even plenty of time.

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It’s time for garden prepping !

Yup, it’s that time of year to start preparing for your garden. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to actually start planting! Unfortunately it is not yet time for 99% of us to be planting. But it is time to…

  1. Plan what you intend to plant. Only plan for what you will actually eat.
  2. If you haven’t already purchased your seeds like I suggested several months ago, go buy your seeds. Yes, heirloom seeds if at all possible. But, whatever seeds are best for your local conditions and needs is just fine.
  3. Last weekend my wife and I planted seeds for our sweet orange peppers, Serrano chili peppers, Poblano peppers, Roma tomatoes, and sweet yellow and white onions (for onion sets).
  4. Today we will plant seeds for grand bell peppers, Crimson watermelon, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.
  5. They are sitting in a large south facing window.
  6. Next week we will buy an LED grow light.

So why so early? Well, for us it is not really all that early. We want to get our plants started early and let them grow to a pretty good size before we plant them outside. Yup, a jump on the growing season!

When will we plant them out side? I wasn’t sure at all. We planted a micro-garden last year…with poor results…more on that later. So I really didn’t know for sure when to get our plants in the ground outside. After a little research I found a great website that you enter your zip code and it gives you a date-by-date planting guide for each vegetable type.  According to my zip code I will have 2 – 3 months of growing my plants indoors before they get the real thing outside. Of course I am not sure if I am right in my planning or not…this is my first time at this scale in this location. But, I have to get experience somehow, sometime…why not now!

Why didn’t I use local “experts” for guidance? I tried…and each had their own opinion and I wasn’t sure who was right or not. So I went with the Internet experts…if it’s on the Internet it must be true!

<click here to go to The Old Farmer’s Almanac Planting Calendar>

Our neighbor is all about “food sustainability”…and I mean he is focused on it to the point of obsessive. And that is great, that is his thing for prepping. I tend to be a little more balanced in my prepping…and balance with the rest of my life. So I garden for fresh vegetables, some preserving, and gaining experience (especially in this new area). The experience gives me the background and knowledge, that should the need arise, I can go into growing most of our own food. Until that time comes…we just love eating all that fresh stuff…especially the tomatoes!

So why the article today on planting seeds and gardening? Simple, I am strongly encouraging you AGAIN to gain gardening experience. Why? Because there will come a time when folks will need to grow their  own food, then preserve it…and then survive off of it. If you wait to gain experience until growing your own food is a necessity…it might well be too late.

Yes, I will try to blog my garden activities this year. Not because I am some expert master gardener trying to educate you…nope, that’s not me at all. I am simply trying to share every day, ordinary experiences with you.

So there you go…hope you have some motivation to learn gardening. If you already know…then maybe you could make your plan. If you already have a plan…you could get started. Please…give it a try…you never know when the need will arise. In the meant time…FRESH TOMATOES!!

2009 - 2021 Copyright © ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from
See Content Use Policy for more information.