I started a bunch of old seeds in a Jiffy Starter box about 3 weeks ago and I’m not seeing any sprouts. I knew I was using old seeds but I was hoping for a few seeds to germinate but it looks like that box of starter plants is a bust. Since those old seeds are not sprouting I figured I should clean out my seed box of all of the older seed packets. OMG! I had seeds that dated back to 2007, many of the seeds dated back to 2012 and 2016. I kept any seed packet dated 2017 and newer and toss any packets of older seeds. I know the germination rates of seeds drop a lot after a couple of years but I figure seeds up to three years old are worth planting this year. After cleaning out the old seed packets I found many packets that were dated for 2019. Those are the seeds I’ll be planting/starting in the first starter box or in the raised bed if they are cool weather crops.
I bought some seeds in April and got many started in my second Jiffy box. Lots of warm weather stuff like melons, tomatoes, peppers and that type of plant. As I went though my seed box I found many Greens like lettuces, swiss chard, bok choy, and broccoli I can plant now during the cool Spring. Getting the raised beds ready for the seeds took a little bit of work. I’m rotating the crops in my raised beds and last years “tomato” bed soil was not good. The soil had compacted and had a lot of weed growth. I had to take the tiller to the soil and then augment it with compost. The soil looks better, but I may need to add more manure/compost to get the plants good growth in May.
I’m going to direct sow the greens on cool weather crops in the raised beds. I have added “Frost” cloth over the PVC frames I made last year. While the frost cloth protects the plants from weather it also seems effective in protecting the beds from my little digger dog and my kittens messing with my garden beds. I have other digging areas and places in the back yard for the cats to do what cats do/poo. I was surprised that putting up the frost cloth stopped the cats getting into the raised bed (so far). The little green plastic barrier fence has stopped the cats from digging and leaving “deposits” in the deep raised bed. I understand peoples frustration with cats in their yard and garden but I think it mostly FERAL cats that do the most damage and not pet cats. I have cats and they will do unspeakable things in my garden beds. How can I stop that from happening? It seems a little bit of temp. green plastic fencing and frost cloth will stop most pets digging. Now stopping squirrels is the next order of protection. Probably impossible!
I’m sure folks that deal with wild life i.e. geese,ducks, bears,elk, deer, moles, gophers and other assorted critters eating their gardens and crops will mock us city folk that are so worried about cats popping in garden dirt!
Growing a garden takes some time everyday. I still don’t know if it is a weed or a plant without using a marker in my garden rows. FYI Toothpicks by your planted seeds helps with weeding in my garden. For me it is tough to “thin out plants” I know it has to be done in a garden, but those little plants are so inspiring it’s tough for me to thin out the rows of excessive growth.
Jamie, you will never eat or preserve over 20 plants of bok choy no matter how much effort you put into growing the plant! Of course I must grow bok choy first before I can preserve it.
I cleaned up my black berry pots, One pot did not look good and I cut it back last fall. The other plant had a lot of growth and I cut it back this spring. I added some compost, cleaned out the old straw mulch and added some compost to the pots. My goodness the plants are adding many new leaves and growth. I added a burlap bag to keep the cats out of the pots and a thick layer of compost. I think I may get a few black berries this year!
The back yard lawn are is looking better. I added seed but I had some new grass growth. I hope the new grass seed/ additional compost and soil will start to fill in the lawn area.
You are on your own, $1200.00 is not going to save you. I’m not referring just to the Wu-Flu. The Economy is going to tank into recession levels if we are lucky. If you are new to prepping and late to getting prepared I have a few suggestions
- Buy seeds and have a way to grow some fresh food from a garden or even a pot full of herbs.
- Buy flour, whole wheat grains, whole or steel cut oats and learn to bake your own bread. I have a simple bread on “recipe page” that takes only flour,salt, water and yeast and it is great bread.
- You will probably make a few bread bricks learning to make bread. That is part of the learning process. Don’t give up if your bread loaves end up exceptionally dense. Heck I screwed up my own recipe and added an extra table spoon of salt. The bread is a bit salty but I think adding a “Heaping tablespoon” of salt to the recipe would make the bread loafs less bland.
- Get a pressure cooker of some sort. The Insta-pot brand cooker is poplar but most electric pressure cooker will be great for cooking beans and rice quickly. You bought all those dried beans and did not realize it takes about 12- 24 hours to cook those beans in a crock pot or on a stove. A pressure cooker can cook the same beans in about 2 hours.
I have rambled on far to long on this “stream of ideas”. You will do you and hopefully you will be safe and grow food for yourself. That is optimistic on my part but all I can do is give out info I think is solid and report what I am doing. I might be wrong but I’m growing a garden and not trusting the government.