Got the Gardening Bug? Here's How to Start Seeds for a Fall Garden.
So, you've been bitten by the gardening bug, huh? I had been thinking about starting a garden for years, but didn't have the time. Now that I have nothing but time, gardening has been what's kept me calm in this crazy world (read my blog post, WHY STARTING A GARDEN DURING A PANDEMIC IS A GOOD IDEA, and find out how gardening can benefit you). If you're like me and you want to fill a little bit of your time exercising your green thumb, then let's get your garden started. The first thing we need to do is start your seeds.
What it Means to 'Start' Your Seeds
About 6-8 weeks before you're ready to plant your fall garden outside you need to let your seeds start growing inside, undisturbed by weather or bugs. This can be inside your home or even inside a greenhouse outside that's not exposed to the hottest part of the day. In Texas, you're hard pressed to find anywhere not too hot, but we started our seeds outside under the awning of our house on a plastic shelving unit with a piece of plastic painter's tarp wrapped around it (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know how we did it). For fall gardens, you will start your seeds in the middle of July to transfer your plants to your garden in the beginning of September. Some seeds don't require this kick start and can be planted straight into the ground at the right temperature (make check the back of your seed packet for more detailed information about each seed).
Don't Be Fancy
When I first started gardening, I went to my local hardware store and bought everything I thought I would need to start a successful garden. I found this seed starter tray and thought I really needed it to get my seeds going effectively. Boy, was I wrong! After I ran out of room, I was still stuck trying to find other things to start my seeds in. If you don't have anything at home that you can use, then buying one of these kits might be best, but I challenge you to think outside of the box. Don't try to be fancy. Egg cartons, plastic bottles and plastic food containers will work just fine, so long as you make a hole in it for water drainage. The beautiful part is that you can reuse or recycle the plastic once you're done with it (as long as it's cleaned out, first).
Do you know what you're planting this fall? Share what you're planting and what part of the country you're in here. Let's swap garden stories!