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    Posted on June 6th, 2011 Pam No comments

    This should take about a week to explain, but I will try to do it in a few paragraphs. First, some of you may be overwhelmed with starting a garden. Even those of you who have gardened for years may be a little stressed. So let me tell all of you to relax !!!! Your garden is to enjoy. So just slow down and enjoy it, enjoy every minute you spend in it.

    Buy seeds or plants?
    I buy seeds for things like peas, radishes, beans, corn, carrots and lettuce, they grow quite easily planted directly into the soil. I buy plants from the greenhouse for things like pumpkins, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage, tomatoes and peppers. I sometimes buy seeds from this last group and plant them, too. If you need a faster start, you may buy the plants to try to get a successful crop. The seeds are much cheaper, but you do take more of a risk with seeds. However, the plants that come up from the seeds you plant directly into the soil will usually be more healthy looking and will already hardened in when they come up.

    Helpful hint: When planting seeds outside it is sometimes useful to soak the seeds. I usually soak seeds like cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, squash, (I soak them for at least three days). I dig a hole about 4″ square and 2″ deep, then put about 1/4 cup of fertilizer in the hole and fill the hole with water. When the water sinks, I put the soaked seeds in the hole (5 seeds in the hole) and cover with about ½ inch of soft soil. Pretty simple huh? This way the seeds are soft and ready to germinate when you plant them, they are in damp soil and will come up about one week earlier.

    Please read the back of your seed package, before and after you buy the seeds. It has a lot of information, if the seeds can be planted inside or outside, when to plant, and lots of other valuable information.

    When to plant, (these are my suggestions for eastern Idaho).
    Guidelines for planting seeds inside for transplanting outside (after the last frost).
    Plant peppers from seeds the first of March, or even mid February, (10 to 12 weeks before the last frost) depending on the seed, as most are slow growing.
    Plant tomatoes from seeds the first of April (6 to 8 weeks before the last frost). plant seed of squash, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins around April 20th (4 to 6 weeks before the last frost).
    I am GUESSING the last frost in this area is May 31. But according to my Mother, we ‘always have a first of June frost!!! So expect one more frost around June 5th, if you have planted, just cover the plants for a few nights.

    If you are planting indoors you can buy planting trays with soil disks and clear tops. You should have a light source, plants need 8 to 10 hours of light each day. If you are using artificial light, keep the light close to the plants or they will become tall and skinny. Keep the plants in a semi warm place (a constant temperature of 40 to 50 degrees is ideal). Notice I said semi-warm, why get them use to 70 degrees when they will be transplanted into a much cooler environment?
    Wow, lots of information, I hope you can understand much of what I said. Any questions so far?

    Updated from my ‘gardenyourlife’ blog, February 14, 2009

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