Seed Sense #5

originally published April 7

We are at week 7/8 before last frost free date. ( remember I am setting our date at May 31 not the zone 5 May 16 ).

I started my seed inventory and planting timetable back in February. I’ve also started a garden journal for the first time in years! I believe this is the year of all gardening years to be remembered…..and savored.
Since I’ve already admitted I’m a dreamer; to add to that thought, gardens are what dreams are made of. Seeds bring to our dreams hope, anticipation and Joy!

If you did not start your seed dreams timetable, here are some recommendations for what you can plant now outside and what you should be starting indoors.

Outdoors:
Peas and Spinach can still be direct sown in the garden if you haven’t done that yet. Arugula and Radish can be direct sown also but better to wait another week.
Onion and leek sets. Seeds should have been started 3 weeks ago inside.
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Seed Sense #4

originally published April 3

Week 9 BLD ( before last frost date )

Time to plant peas, indoors or out, Spinach outside, Kale and Kohlrabi, Chard indoors!
I started an English shelling pea, Green Arrow, on March 1 in used Keurig pods for giving away during my seed starting talk at the grand re-opening of the Sturgeon Bay Seed Library. Unfortunately we had to cancel it. Now I have lots of plants.
Too soon for my garden so I have been pinching them off to keep them stronger and in control and nurturing them until they can be transplanted outside. Now I need to start hardening them off preparing them for outside weather. I am approaching this in 1 hour increments and going to slowly add time to being outside untill I can plant this weekend. More later.
Let’s talk peas!

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Seed Sense #3

originally published April 1

Door County is considered zone 5a.
That translates to May 16 as the last frost free date. Data is collected over a 7 year period and then averaged to arrive at the frost free dates for each zone..
If you go to the National weather bureau site, and look up your zip code, you will discover that on an average, there is still a 20% chance of frost by May23. My garden suffered a hard frost in 2019, killing all my Tomatoes and Peppers, coleus and various other delicate annuals I planted Memorial weekend. Therefore, for me, and this series, I am setting the last frost free date for May 31. When I start counting back the timetable for planting, it will be based on May 31 as the frost free date.
This is week 9. Nine weeks before the last frost free date and a perfect time to consider planting any cold crops and begin with indoor seeds.
50 degrees breaks dormancy, so ideally the soil temperature should be 50 degrees for outside planting. That doesn’t mean peas cannot be planted in 38 – 40 degree soil temperatures, they will just take longer to germinate.
Most annuals require the soil to be an optimal temperature of 70 – 75 degrees. Vegetables are in that category as annuals.
So why again do we want to start seeds indoors?

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Seed Sense #2

originally published March 30

Why seeds you ask? Cost, variety and satisfaction.
For me, I like the challenge of growing from seed and maybe more than that I am a dreamer.
Every morning, I sit with coffee, phone or computer and read at least 4 garden blogs and as many cooking blogs.
I download tons of recipes that I imagine I’m going to prepare and I notate new and different plants I think I must have either for ornament or for using in a recipe.
Maybe that is why, when I finally inventoried and charted my seed collection I discovered I have 16 different varieties of bean seeds! I don’t even eat beans that much!
I order seeds from John Scheepers and Park the most. I like Baker Creek for their pictures. Botanical Interest has really good and informative blogs. Johnny’s has good information and a wonderful catalogue but shipping is expensive. I usually wait to order seeds until one of the companies offer free shipping or a discount. Don’t count on it now! They are busier now then they have been in decades! However, with the Door County Seed Library, the variety of offerings is amazing and once you sign up as a member you can check out seeds to plant for free! We hope the libraries will be opening soon, but I suspect the charitable nature of the seed library has a plan in mind to overcome the current obstacle of distribution.
Next post I will discuss optimal growing conditions and how to set up a growing station.
Before I do, do you know Door County’s Frost free date?
have you started counting the weeks before to chart your seeds? What different seeds do you plan to start this year?

Seed Sense #1

originally published March 29

I love to garden! But what I love more is finding new and exciting plants! I am one of those crazy people who cannot pass a garden center without stopping. You would have thought that after 30 odd years of gardening and planting that I would have caught the seed bug. I did not. Interesting since seeds provide variety that no garden center can compete with.

I was certified as a U of I Extension Master Gardener in Chicago, I founded a community garden and grants organization, participated in gorilla gardening of neglected public spaces, spent 2 days a month freelancing as a private garden landscaper, and held a full time job. Seeds? No time.

I began seed-starting in earnest when I completed the UW Extension certification and became a Door County Master Gardener. When I agreed to chair the Door County Master Gardener’s plant sale, l inherited the greenhouse seed-starting part of the sale too.

Demystifying the seed starting and growing process took hours of research that resulted in becoming a passion I never knew I had. Watching a tiny seed grow into a 6ft high tomato plant heavy with fruit never ceases to amaze me just as walking in the greenhouse at the height of our growing period and see the explosion of plant life after one week of sunny days and warmer temperatures. Seeds provide hope, anticipation, and wonder.

While I’m not part of the DCMGA plant sale and greenhouse anymore, I have not lost my seed starting passion and look forward to this new gardening adventure and challenge of planning and growing at home.

Join me, on this Facebook page over the next few weeks on my journey of starting seeds for my vegetable and cutting gardens.

Let’s get growing together!

Welcome to the world of gardening and seed saving!

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The Door County Seed Library is a free seed project committed to preserving and nurturing heritage seeds and local Door County garden history through education, seed sharing, and seed saving.

Why save seeds?
Humans have been saving seeds for over 12,000 years, but in the last 100 years much of that knowledge has been lost, along with significant plant biodiversity. When you grow and save your own seeds, you can:
• Help promote and preserve biodiversity – think variety!
• Develop seed stock that is well suited to our unique local climate
• Grow healthy food for your family
• Save money!
• Promote pollinator-friendly plants
We encourage, but don’t require, all members to learn basic seed-saving techniques.
When you participate in the Door County Seed Library, you help to create a culture of sharing and abundance.

Become a seed steward!
We encourage all gardeners to learn basic seed saving techniques.
We are looking for local seed stewards to help grow out and save our seeds. We’ll provide you with guidelines to properly grow and save seeds to ensure that the purity of each variety remains intact. Contact us for more info!
Learn more
• Visit us on Facebook
• Take seed saving classes
• Read about seed saving at your library
• Talk to experienced seed-savers
• Keep good garden records

Support our seed library
The Door County Seed Library is supported by volunteers and donations.
Please contact us at DCSeedLibrary@gmail.org.

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