This blog will cover planting by month, seed storage and buying seed.
So, I seem to have gotten extremely busy mid-August with all of the gardening and getting ready for a new school year (I work in education for a day job, and mid August and September need ALL my time in that field, especially when dealing in a pandemic year!). Anyway, I wanted to do one final post for you for 202o to start gearing you all up for 2021!
It is New Years Eve at 8:45pm with just hours left of 2020! I have no idea what 2021 will bring, but hopefully some real learning on how we can be better for ourselves and family. Growing food? A great way to make a change if you are able to do this. I get not everyone can and that is ok! But if you can, with a bit of time, effort and elbow grease, you can do it. Ok, a lot of time, effort and elbow grease. Gardening is not easy and it is like a child and needs constant attention. When you garden like I do, it starts in January 5 days before the full moon and ends in Nov-Dec as the last of the veggies come out of the fall garden. So, really, it is almost all year round if you do it like I do it.
So, I mentioned in the paragraph above that I am very busy in the fall. This is why I have an extremely diligent planting schedule in the early part of the year. I need to can, preserve, blanch, freeze, pickle, juice, sauce, cellar store and much much more for the winter, and I can’t be doing all of that as school is starting in September. If you remember from last year, I grow food to last us an entire year! We don’t buy veggies, juice, sauces, salsas, pickles or much fruit. (I do buy bananas and oranges for my son in the winter as I can’t keep that away from him. That would be cruel for a 5 year old!)
I also really dislike having to cover everything each night nearing the full moon in September before bed, and uncovering everything while it is still frosty before work, thus, I like to have the majority of my garden in and out by mid-September, early October, with the exception of my fall garden veggies. Also, you can TRY to bring in your peppers and tomato plants in for the fall if they are in pots, BUT the peppers almost always suddenly explode with aphids which then quickly spread to each plant in your house! It takes daily effort for months sometimes to get rid of them. (I suppose that would give you something to do in the winter if you are bored!)
Oh!!! and SLUGS!!! Man, I hate slugs and they love gardens in the fall! So, I try to minimize the fall crazy — frost, lack of time, slugs — by getting things done early. So, to get things done early, you need to start early. I have a tried and true schedule that my neighbour Harriet and I stick to. Harriet is a master gardener in both the States and Canada and has been living on her own veggies for over half a century! She and her husband are healthier then most 40 year olds I know! I kid you not! If this isn’t proof of structure and gardening gains, I don’t know what is.
Also, planting should always be done with the moon cycle — seeds or transplants. If the moon can move oceans, you can imagine it also has a huge effect on many other things such as the growth in plants. The moon actually promotes good roots if you plant your seeds just before the full moon. It helps the seed’s roots pull further down stabilizing the plant and encouraging good root growth. Always plant your seeds 5 days before the full moon.
I don’t have anything fancy – just seeds, dirt, little seed pots and a big window that gets lots of light for the best part of the day in the afternoon. You can get grow lights and heat matts if you need, but if you have a big window that gets lots of afternoon daylight and don’t overcrowd things, you will be just fine.
So, to start, here is my basic planting schedule if planting by seed in the house or greenhouse:
- peppers (hot or mild)
- herbs (except basil)
- a few tomato plants (consider all of them when the full moon is late in the month of January if you really don’t like dealing with frost and slugs!)
- brassica family (kale, broccoli, cabbage)
- spinach (if there is spots showing in your garden where you want it if not in the greenhouse)
- guards (zucchini, cucumbers, squash)
- peas in ground in Late May
June (In the garden direct sow):
- transplants AFTER the full moon
- everything else (carrots, beets, turnip, rutabaga, potatoes, onion sets, radish….etc)
I have many favourite seed places to buy from if I can’t harvest my own. I typically try to go untreated and from as close to home as I can. I live in Northern Ontario, so, what seeds and variety you choice DOES make a big difference in your success of the vegetable. Here are a few places I like to buy from:
William Dam Seed: https://www.damseeds.com/
T&T Seeds: https://ttseeds.com/
In the attached video, I have a little clip on how I like to store seeds. The idea is NOT mine as I found it from googling many times and found many people who store seeds this way. Your Arts and Craft stores are your friends for this! My father-in-law bought these for me for Christmas and they are perfect. They are breathable and very easy to stack and organize. They are photo-carriers or arts and craft carriers and I highly recommend them if you have thousands of seeds like I do! Click here: Seed Holders
Ok, so I’m going to share one of my music videos that I hope you watch. I’m a gardener, mother and teacher but also a very big environmentalist and musician. Here is a song that I wrote that includes over 150 voices from around the world that didn’t travel but we complied it virtually. I know we can be better with our world. We can join hand in hand to do what’s right. Will you join me? Here is One Voice.
See you then! Happy Gardening!
P.s. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org