I’ve been gardening for most of my life. Yes, I took horticulture, but the real education came not in a classroom but in my backyard’s red Virginia clay soil. The wisest gardeners, I believe, are simply those who made the most mistakes—and learned something. Golly, I must be a genius by now.
My Early Gardening Education
My Dad was a gardener, too. Once, when I was 7, he gave my brother, sister, and I each a three-foot square patch in the garden and said we could pick three plants to plant in there. My sister picked all the flowers, my brother picked all the cherry tomatoes (I guess because they were “his:” size), and for me? Well, I picked a hollyhock, a tomato, and a pumpkin. Daddy laughed at that but didn’t try to talk me out of it.
The reason for laughing came later that summer when the hollyhock and the tomato were all grown together, and every time Daddy mowed the lawn, I had to go out and lift the pumpkin vines so he could mow under them.
Why I Love Planting Seeds
I still have a soft spot for planting seeds, however. There’s something almost magical about planting a speck and getting a twelve-inch tall marigold—or an eight-foot-tall tomato.
I’m planning my spring/summer garden—a fun activity on gray winter days. I still have kale and spinach wintering over in my garden, but I have already decided which tomatoes and peppers to try. There are good reasons for starting some veggies from seeds—a fantastic array of varieties to choose from, for one thing. And, when you grow your own, you know how they were grown and what products, if any, were used.
How to Grow Your Plants From Seeds
After I choose my seeds, I’ll sit down to read the back of the package. The package is more than just pretty pictures; it’s also the best source of information on how to grow that plant. It tells me when to start the seeds, how far apart to plant them, and how deep. It’ll even tell me how long the seedlings will take to emerge.
One of my favorite seed companies, Botanical Interests, takes it a few steps further. Inside the seed packet, they’ll show you how to stake tall flowers or offer a favorite recipe.
Seed packets will tell you to start the seeds so many days before or after the last frost. According to The National Weather Service, our last frost date here is the first week in April. But last year, we had a frost AFTER the first of May—Mother Nature can’t read weather reports, I guess. I usually start watching the weather every night VERY CAREFULLY at the end of April so I won’t be caught off guard.
Get the Best Seed Selection
Stop by the Great Big Greenhouse now to enjoy the best seed selection.