Week Four: Best Time For Planting Is Now!
This week we'll discuss common issues that can afflict indoor seedlings and how to avoid them. Outdoors, we'll answer two very important questions for installing a veggie garden: how much do I plant, and how far apart?
Just a reminder here, if you are new to gardening, don't take on too much. As the growing season continues there will be watering, weeding and harvesting to stay on top of. Focus on a few easy veggies to care for this year, and expand on that next year.
We are focusing on the easier veggies in our spotlight section, but the best bang for your buck and time are the leafy veggies like spinach, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, beets, mustard greens, and other greens.
Best of all, things like these can be grown in
the ground, or in a container or window box!
Two common seed starting hazards are damping-off and spindly growth. Here's what damping off is and how to avoid it. Next week we cover spindly growth.
Damping-off is "a disease of seedlings, occurring either before or immediately after emerging from the soil, characterized by rotting of the stem at soil level and eventual collapse." (dictionary.com) It is often a problem in cool, wet conditions where certain pathogens can proliferate.
Because we are trying to keep our soil moist for germination it is at cross purposes with preventing damping-off. Here are some things that can help:
Use sterilized soil to start your seed
Use containers that have been sterilized in a weak bleach bath.
Water soil/seedlings from the bottom
Sprinkle cinnamon on top of your soil after your se