Friday, April 9, 2010

Class notes on getting the most from your square foot season by season

We talked about using plants, seedlings and seeds to make use of our garden through more than three seasons. So here is the information in a clear easy to read form, you can easily highlight and copy and print this and add it to your notebook.

Positives with plants: Someone else did the work of growing them. They are more mature than most home starts (we just don't have the space to let them grow very big) They can extend our growing season if placed in the ground at the best times.

Positives with seeds: You can grow a bigger variety of plants. You can grow Open Pollinated plants and save the seeds for next year. You can use seed that works best in your mico-climate.
They can be put in the ground on a calendar to extend other plantings.

Positives with transplants of your own: Germination time can be cut way down. seeds sprout with clues from nature, warmth and moisture. If your soil and out door temp is 40 degrees like now it would take a beet seed up to 42 days to sprout where as 68 degrees F. would have your beet seed (I love beet sees they look so cool) sprouting in six days. This should fully explain the advantage to starting seeds in doors.

These plants don't transplant easily. They will slow down growth with any root movement so start in their own little pot and put it right in the ground. Or plan on putting the seeds right into the garden when it's time.

Beans, peas, melons, cucumbers, squash.

Transplants have another big positive and that is in the late summer early fall garden. You can start something in the house in July, August and put the plant out when the summer plant is finished, there by giving you one more season of food.


Problems with plants: Truckers, stores etc don't handle them for the best use in the garden so they often get slowed down. They show up way before our summer planting season making us hold them and baby sit them until the warmer months. We have a limited choice in the variety of plants and we often don't know if they are Open pollinated.

Problems with seeds: Our lack of heat units can add 20-50% to the harvest time on the packages unless they are seeds made for the Northwest climate. You need to keep them cool and dry in order to use them another year. The packages come with far too many seeds, but for the price we are glad. Something to share with another gardener.

Problems with transplants: we have to learn how to do it correctly for healthy transplants, It takes materials, space, light and time. You need to have a plan so they are ready for the ground when mother nature is ready for the season they grow in. YOU MUST HARDEN THEM OFF before putting in the garden.

I hope with this information you can see how each items works in your garden.

You can plant another group of the same plant every 3 weeks to get a continued harvest.


Early means they mature faster than other varieties there by giving us a chance to harvest red tomatoes!

Oregon Eleven
Early girl
Oregon Spring
Early Swedish
Sun Gold
Juliet (blight resistant)

Cherry tomato types for early
Sweet Million

Growing seasons for veggies

Early Spring plant onions sets
Spring plant peas, lettuce
Late Spring/Early summer broccoli etc
Summer tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers etc
Late Summer/early fall broccoli, kale, etc
Fall-plant garlic and leeks, winter lettuce etc.
late fall/ early winter seed collection, winter gardening
Winter eat your winter harvest
Late Winter/early Spring plant onion sets

The examples are just a few to catch your interest. In our next meeting I will have a full list of all the season and what to plant for a full year around veggie garden.

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