I bet a lot of you gardeners are getting a little antsy and want to start sowing your seeds indoors. It hurts me to inform you, but it’s not time to plant your tomato seeds yet.
What you should be doing is looking in the seed catalogs for what you would like to grow this year.
You also need to check it if you have enough money in your checking account to buy everything you want. You also need to check with your spouse to see if she has that money saved for a trip to Bermuda.
My wife and I have separate checking accounts, so if she is saving for a Bermuda trip, it doesn’t affect my gardening plans.
We have a simple system. I don’t pay for anything inside the house, and she never contributes to anything outside the house, except paint. Since I am poor and receive no allowance, I can’t afford paint.
A pack of tomatoes, yes; ten cans of paint, no.
After your seeds arrive, the first thing to do is read the directions.
They will tell you when to plant the seeds. Some seeds like beans, peas, melons and most root crops can be sown directly in the garden. Other have to be started inside, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
Your seeds finally arrive. You think, “It’s my day off, should I plant them this afternoon?”
The answer is probably no, because it is possible to start seeds too early.
There is an ugly rumor out there that men don’t read directions.
I will not confess that one way or the other. If you read the seed directions, it will tell you when to plant the seeds, which in most cases is eight weeks before your last frost date. In our area, the last frost date is May 15.
Checking my calendar, in case you don’t have the time to research it, six weeks back would be March 20.
If you’re vacationing that week in Bermuda with your mother-in-law, remember it’s better to be late with seed starting than too early.
On the seed label, it should tell you the days to germination.
This, of course, means if your seeds have the perfect conditions.
Some seeds like light and warm temperatures, and some don’t. An ideal temperature for tomatoes and peppers is 70 to 80 degrees. Any lower temperature will cause a delay in your seeds coming up.
Days to maturity, which usually means when you pick your first tomato, and days to germination, are two different things. The days to maturity count starts after you plant the seedling in the garden.
Some seeds need light to germinate, and some don’t. Either place the seeds in a south-facing window, or use grow lights. Grow lights should be left on for about 16 hours a day.
The container that you start your seeds in really doesn’t matter, as long as it has drainage holes. Cut a milk carton in half and add holes, or even cut one of your wife’s thousands of old purses that she still has in the closet in half and add some drain holes. Be sure to remove all the old hankies and empty lipstick containers first.
You will need to purchase some seed-starting soil. Wet it and let all the excess water drain out before planting your seeds. This may be a pain in the neck or any other body part that may suffer pain.
The seed label will tell you how deep to plant the seed. Please pay attention to that. If it is planted too deep, you will have germination delay.
The other way to plant your garden is to go to your garden center and buy your plants.
Of course, this will cost more, but if you sneak some funds from that Bermuda trip account, you should be fine.
Make your space a green space.