It's a new year and Spring is right around the corner. It's time to kickoff our 2023 garden! We're dreaming of all the gardening things and can't wait for the abundance of Spring.
This year we're feeling more prepared than ever before. Jenn is using a step-by-step guide to walk us through the gardening year; the 2023 Garden Planning Guide and Calendar by Texas Gardener Magazine, you can get one here: https://allaboutthegarden.com/collections/2023-garden-planning-guide-calendar
We've already purchased all of our seeds and divided them up based on when they need to be planted. All the seeds to be sown in January are in a bag marked January, etc... One bag for each month.
I recently remodeled our back bathroom and we have a lovely clawfoot tub that will eventually go in there, but for now Jenn has commandeered it! She turned the back half of the bathroom into our seed starting room. The room is mostly tile or five foot tall wainscoting with high gloss paint, so it's easy to keep everything clean and tidy. The room is small so its completely jam packed right now...but we love it. Every morning when we brush our teeth, we're reminded that gardening things are happening! It smells like a greenhouse in there and what gardener wouldn't love to start their day in a greenhouse?
When the seedlings first pop out of the soil, we get them under the grow lights asap with the seedlings as close to the lights as possible (so they don't get leggy). Just in case you were thinking we have it all together, Jenn used duplo building blocks to make little platforms to raise the trays up to the grow lights. Ha! The whole thing looks totally professional and then you have these brightly colored building blocks sticking out like a sore thumb. Hey, it works. And it's pretty cute. And it's a reminder that gardening is fun and we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously!
For seed starting, we like to use a mix of organic coconut coir and organic potting soil. Coconut coir is a super consistent medium for seed starting, it's sterile, and it offers great drainage, but it has almost zero nutrient value. Adding organic potting soil provides the nutrients seedlings need without reducing drainage. Mixing the two is the best of both worlds and our seedlings get off to a great start. To hold all that lovely seed starting mix, we use the most durable seed starting trays available.
For most seedlings, we use CD60 module trays. They're designed by master gardener Charles Dowding, they're super sturdy and you can expect them to last 15+ years. We love them so much we started an entire business around them. Here's a link to take you straight to them:
For larger seeds or things with larger leaves like cantaloupe, I like to use 40 cell trays. You can get them here:
The garden is pretty much a blank slate right now, but thanks to our seed starting setup, it will be packed with new growth very soon. Here's a shot of the garden as of Jan. 9th 2023, it'll be fun to see what it looks like now versus when Spring is in full bloom:
If you'd like to know more about our spring garden kickoff, or see more details about our seed starting setup, here's our "Garden Kickoff 2023" video on YouTube. While you're there, please drop us a comment, give us a like, and subscribe to our channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In_n0T6IOsA
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Best of luck with your Spring garden! ~ Shawn