Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 seed starting schedule & garden planning

I've started seeds indoors for my veggie garden for the past 2 summers, but never made a schedule, I just would decide, hmm, seems like about time to start my seeds, and that would be it. I started them all at the same time regardless of what type of plant they were, and never thought much more of it than that. Last year I even had to restart all of my seeds since they accidentally froze on the sunporch (courtesy of our old leaky sliding glass doors).
Spring 2010 - Little M supervising me re-planting my seeds

This year, since I've been blogging and seeing everyone else talk about their seed starting schedule, I decided to give it a go. First I looked at when the last frost was last year, which was unusually late and hard - May 21st. At that point I had corn and beans just peeking above the ground, and the pile of towels I spread over the sprouts didn't do a very adequate job at keeping the sprouts frost-free. That frost also killed most of our orchard flowers, so we had a very spotty fruit crop last fall!

May 21 2010 - towels protecting sprouts from a late & hard frost
I did some looking at the calendar, and turns out I still have 13 weeks until what I will consider our last frost date, so I guess I still have a bit of time before I need to start planting. I sat down and looked over the seeds that I bought this year and those that I have leftover and saved from the past couple years. I was surprised at how many different types I have! I planned out my garden layout, although there are some herbs and flower mixes leftover from last year that I really want to grow somewhere - hopefully I can get some sort of garden set up by the chicken coop as I have mentioned previously, so that I can have a bit more space.
Planning for my 2011 garden!
Now that I know I have 13 weeks or more until I start planting my start outdoors, I can relax a couple weeks and wait until at least next month to start planting my first seed starts.  I may start my peppers and some flowers earlier than that though, because last weekend I was working on cutting some trim boards in the garage when I realized that past owners had left a shop light in there that would be a perfect seed starting light! Yippee!! Sometime in the next week I will wrestle it out of the garage and put it up on the sunporch somewhere, and maybe I'll even be able to find an old heating pad somewhere to keep under my plants so they stay nice and warm. I figure with that light, I will be able to grow things like peppers and some flowers to a bigger stage than I would without that extra light, which will be perfect since last year my peppers were pitifully small at the time when I would have planted them out. I say 'would have' since a little mouse got into the sunporch while we were gone for a couple days, and when I came back the peppers were just little snipped off stalks... darn rodents!


  1. Our last frost is about the middle of May so I've still got some time left as well. However, I did start a few things. I'm trying leeks for the first time ever this year and I can supposedly set them out several weeks before the last frost. Since they take 7-14 days to germinate, I planted them last weekend. And I started some parsley in a pot. Nothing up yet but I'm hoping. Have fun with your seeds.

  2. I planted my onions and the broccoli in the green house yesterday. So glad to start. Onions can be done a little earlier that the other summer crops.

  3. I'm looking forward to see your wonderful garden in 2011.

  4. Isn't the anticipation of what's to come the best? I love seeing each sprout as it emerges. Wishing you a grand harvest!


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