There is something so amazing about putting seeds into the soil and nurturing them until they produce food. I started vegetable gardening about a decade ago and have been growing food off and on since then. I’m not gonna lie…It’s been a year since I’ve grown food, but I’m back at it.
This year I decided to expand my vegetable garden to include more of the area of my yard where grass won’t grow.I was so scared to expand because I felt it would make my yard look trashy. I say trashy, because I’m not a neat gardener with cute raised beds. No…I just clear a rectangle, turn over the soil and start sowing seeds.
I don’t even weed my gardens regularly. I should do better, but I’m not a farmer and I get good growing results with my laid back methods. In my garden this year I’m growing so many things. I really need to find more vegetables to grow before it gets to hot to start from seed.
I prefer starting from seed just because it’s cheaper. I pay $0.20 up to $1.44 per seed pack and can reap fifty plus plants if they all survive. If I were to buy fifty mature plants I’d be looking at spending $150 or more on my garden.
This year I used a mix of high end and low end seeds. The American Seed are the ones that run about $0.25 per pack at the Dollar. The yellow packs pictured above were some form the Walmart garden center.
I noticed this year, that the American Seed which I usually find in Walmart weren’t there. In their place were non-GMO and organic seeds. Next year I will probably make the move to non-GMO seeds.
I started sowing the following seeds indoors on April 4th and the pictures are the progress almost four weeks later.
- National Pickling
- Straight Eight
- Sugar Snap
- Strawberries (I bought a mature plant)
- Serrano Chili (Spanish Variety)
- Hungarian Yellow Wax (Spanish Variety)
- Sweet Banana
- Jalapeño Early
- California Wonder
- Dwarf Blue Curled Vates (Heirloom Variety)
- Swiss Chard Lucullus (Heirloom Variety)
- Mustard Spinach Tendergreen
- Spinach Giant Noble
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Lettuce Grand Rapids (Leaf)
- Parsley Italian Flat Leaf
All of my seedlings were growing well indoors so I’ve moved them outside to begin ‘hardening’ them off.
“Hardening off” is the process of moving plants outdoors for a portion of the day to gradually introduce them to the direct sunlight, dry air, and cold nights. You should Harden off gradually, so that seedlings become accustomed to strong sunlight, cool nights and less-frequent watering over a 7-10 day period, however…I expect my plants to be tougher than most. Once I put them outside I don’t bring them back inside.
I typically start them off in a shady spot outside once the danger of frost has passed. After the seedlings have been outdoors for a week, I move them to a sunnier area. This is how I’ve done it for years and it works for me. I put them outside when their stems seem sturdy and/or just when the plants start to form their second set of leaves.
I leave them in their homes for about another four weeks before moving them to the vegetable garden with the plants that I direct sow.
I share weekly video updates of my garden on Instagram stories. This week I shared a tour of vegetable garden and how I sow cucumbers outdoors. If you want to watch my weekly garden updates, makes sure you’re following Aprons And Stilletos on Instagram HERE.