New Year! Garden Planning starts now!
As gardeners, let’s face it, we all have a small grudge against winter!
The winters in the Okanagan can be long lived some years and mild and short the next! It’s a part of the ups and downs of gardening I guess…
Let’s look at the positive! Our winters allow us to reflect on our past trials and errors in the garden. It allows us to plan what we want to do the upcoming year and to cut out the experiments that failed us in recent years.
Whether your into vegetable or flower gardening this “time off” is great for a gardeners soul! But who said we needed time off, there are many things we can be doing indoors to keep the gardening spirit going through the January blues!
How about trying to grow your own seed sprouts or microgreens? It’s not hard, all you need is proper light and a few other materials!
Seed sprouts require no soil to grow, they need adequate light and a bit of moisture! One of the little tricks I have found to work is using a dehydrator (don’t turn it on). Place the seed sprouts on the multiple levels of the dehydrator (can put multiple varieties in at once), put a saucer or small dish with water in it at the bottom or on the bottom shelf. Keep the lid on to hold moisture in and within 5-10 days you will have yourself an array of seed sprouts such as Alfalfa, broccoli, bean and pea sprouts (to name a few), ready to enjoy in your salads or sandwiches!
Now microgreens do require a few for materials such as a sterilized growing soil. Sterilized soil means the soil has been heated up to very high temperatures to kill off any micro organisms in the soil. Although this does typically make the soil very sterile (no nutrients) look for types that are nitrogen fortified, you can even use a bit of 10-52-10 water soluble fertilizer to help stimulate the plants, once they have sprouted.
Unlike sprouts that are germinated and grown in water, microgreens such as kale, beets, sunflower, swiss chard and arugula are started in very little soil and harvested at the seedling stage. These require large amounts of light. So if you own a grow light, that would help them along quite well!
One word of advice when selecting microgreens and sprouts seeds, make sure they have been tested for pathogens like E. Coli and salmonella and are clean!
A great place to check out is the West Coast Seeds website. A lot of seeds are organic and safe.
For the first time gardeners, or even experienced, here is a great chart of when to sow your seeds for certain plant types either in the garden or startig them indoors.
Here is Nicholas Alexander Landscapings Top 10 seed picks that are a must try this year! Some are new and some are old time favourites.
- Easter Egg Blend Radishes
- Eldorado Swiss Chard
- Touchstone Gold Beets
- Lemon Cucumbers (Heirloom)
- Patio Snacker Cucumber
- Total Eclipse Squash
- Reflex Kale
- Sun sugar Tomatoe
- Kelsae Onion
- Mignon Carrots
Let us know your thoughts and trials by posting your experiences! We would love to hear from you. Happy Planning!!
Nicholas Alexander Landscaping