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Seed Selection for the Veggie Garden

When you start thinking about what’s in store for your garden over the next few months, you may find yourself poring over The Rare Seed Catalog, scanning every page deliberately as you dream of what’s to come. Although this certainly is one way to do it, a trip to the garden center nearest you for seed selection can be just as much fun. Whichever method you use to secure your seeds aside, they all have one thing in common, and that is that decisions must be made regarding what you intend to plant and with what type of seeds.

When you have a bunch of seed options in front of you, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. It is also easy to lose your train of thought when confronted with so many seed options; in there somewhere is sure to be something you had not yet thought of or may have forgotten about but still wish to incorporate. At times like this, having a garden plan is useful, but even more useful than that is a seed selection plan that outlines the type of seeds you want to plant and how they correlate with what your ultimate gardening goals are.

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The first thing to consider is whether you intend to grow organic or conventional veggies. Many gardeners strive to grow organic but fail to realize it takes more than simply purchasing organic seeds to do so. Growing organic involves much more than tossing organic seeds in some soil and waiting for them to grow; there are actually strict standards to which gardeners must adhere. If you do not have certified organic soil to start with and will be adding components that are not 100% organic such as pesticides, purchasing organic seeds is not going to yield you organic vegetables. In cases such as this, it may save time and heartache to forgo organic seeds until you are able to fully establish an organic garden where those seeds can thrive. This is especially true for new gardeners as organic seeds can be tougher to work with than conventional ones which allow a greater learning curve.

Another important decision that must be made regarding seeds is whether you want to go with hybrid or heirloom. Hybrids are mixed breed plants created through cross-pollination to establish a plant that has more beneficial characteristics. This may sound a lot like a GMO, but in truth there is nothing genetically modified about it; in fact, cross-pollination occurs in the natural world thanks to wind and bees. Heirlooms on the other hand are true to seed, old-fashioned plant varieties that have been carefully passed down over time. In a taste comparison, heirloom veggies will likely win hands down, but they are not always the easiest to grow. They lack disease resistance and that alone can mean little to no veggies to harvest despite the painstaking effort put into them, making them not necessarily a friend of the beginning gardener.

One more issue that plays a role in seed selection is the growing season in which you live. Each growing zone experiences different temperature fluctuations that greatly impact when and how veggies are grown as well as the seeds you buy. Take note of the amount of time seeds require to reach maturity and how that corresponds with your growing season. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still grow items that require a long season if what you have is a short season, but you will have to start those seeds indoors. Since this also takes time, planning your seed selection and seed starting in advance to pull it off is also necessary.

Ultimately there is not much we can’t accomplish in the veggie garden if we take the right steps to get there. By taking into consideration what you want to get out of your garden and making plans to achieve your goals, gardening success can be had by all. Don’t forget to check expiration dates and be sure to choose seeds that work with your space, growing season, and accommodate them as needed to get the veggies you crave.

Getting Your Garden Plan Ready for Spring

A frequent topic of discussion amongst gardeners is having a garden plan. This encompasses what plants will be located in which areas. It also details which ones will be neighbors as well since we all know some simply do not get along with one another. We may hem and haw over our plans until we are certain we’ve got everything just so, but the reality is that garden planning goes much deeper than simply drawing a sketch of your garden and plugging in where the plants go.

The first thing to consider when creating a garden plan is what plants your family will actually eat and in what quantity. Did you find yourself giving away a lot of veggies last year or losing some to spoilage? If so, it is important to take into consideration the reality of what is truly consumable. It is easy to get swept up in the moment, selecting and planting unnecessary types and amounts of seeds, but being realistic should take precedence. In addition to not planting things you will not use, don’t plant things it is easier to buy. If you have a farmer’s market that can provide you with adequate quantities of something you don’t really have room to grow, then consider buying that item and instead growing something else.

It is also important to pay attention to your growing zone. This can be a tough one because sometimes it is overwhelmingly tempting to try to grow something you really want, even if you do not live in the ideal zone for it to thrive. Rather than subject yourself to low yields and/or stunted veggies, plan to grow only those you know will succeed in your growing zone. As tough as it may be to accept, all the wishing in the world won’t grow veggies when the climate just isn’t right.

Once you know what you’re going to plant and how it will grow in your area, the next step is determining where you are going to grow it. If you have an existing functional garden plot, then by all means continue using it but keep necessary rotations in mind. If you are starting from scratch, however, it is important to select an area with good drainage where sunlight will be plentiful. From there you will have to determine whether traditional beds or raised beds are a better option. Remember that it is your plants that make such determinations as catering to their requirements and needs is what allows them to grow.

Now that you’ve taken all these other factors into consideration, the next step in your garden plan is to map out actual planting locations. This is important because of not only companion planting needs but also growth needs, be they horizontal or vertical. You may plant veggies that get along from a companion standpoint only to find out that one overtakes the other as it grows. Melons, for example, grow on a vine that can spread quite far, making it difficult or even impossible to grow something else close by. Rather than risk a veggie being compromised by a vine such as this, allow adequate distance between plants while still achieving your garden plan goals. In order to get a good visual on what you can place where, once you are armed with the knowledge of what you are going to actually plant, now is the time to make a diagram.

By putting some extra thought into your garden plan ahead of time, you can ensure you get more of what you want out of it in the end. Although it may be appealing to fly by the seat of your pants, this type of action rarely works in gardening. The better you plan, the more useful, desired, and delicious veggies you’ll have! And if you need to sell a house in Chandler Az, We buy houses Chandler AZ! Contact Us!