Read an article written by Maria Rodale on the Ultimate in Self-Expression……
This ppt is an expression of MY PASSION, I want to engage all your senses…except smell, maybe you can imagine the smell of soil
Doing this is what I love, and I hope to INSPIRE YOU
What covering today……
Not about how to start seeds, but when to start seeds, and how to get them into the garden I have been gardening since I was 9, but am always learning new things Even the longtime vegetable gardeners, when asked their key to success, after they brag about their SOIL all say TIMING
Today going to help you find your own rhythm and timing….
Hold questions to the end, or write on paper and send to front
Only difference means you will gain 4-6 weeks than you would with direct seeding
Get varieties that aren’t locally started
Fun to Gamble
Lots of variables that come into the mix: weather, terrain, soil
“rhythm of a garden changes each year” Your job to best adjust to this new rhythm
Today give you the ‘tools’ to find your rhythm! To manage this disclaimer, Keep track of your dates……and each year try to plant abit earlier and see if you can push the envelope! Even farmers on the same land using same timing have different results!
An important decision to make…… some plants don’t transplant well……
Make a list, check it twice THEN buy seeds
Tracks what you will grow, and how you will grow it.
There are tools out there that help you create a baseline…….uses ‘plant dates’, last frost date, type of plant etc
I say start here, then modify
LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION HERE!!! Seed Spacing – Refers to distance in trench between seeds. With carrots its 3-4 per inch. Don’t overseed. It makes thinning later more difficult.Days to Sprout aka Days to Germination refers to the length of time between when a seed is first planted and when it first appears above ground.Spacing after Transplanting or Plant Spacing refers to the distance between plants once all thinning and transplanting has been done.Days Until Harvest aka Days to Maturity is the time it takes to go from seed to table. Some will start from the day the seeds are planted while others use the day the seedling are transplanted to their final position. Notice cauliflower takes 60 days however it is started indoors for 4-6 weeks. If we plant cauliflower directly in the ground our Days until Harvest will be 88-102 days.
Don’t recycle those catalogs, well at least some of them…..
Look at the wealth of FREE INFORMATION!
These dates are ‘rules of thumb’, they can change
For potatoes and squash, these go against typically rules, but have worked for some gardeners
How many have had this happen to them in the spring?
Another variable in the puzzle of seed timing we need to talk about.
First a story……..author of article in Organic Gardening stumbled upon this variable when she realized she loved glazed turnips. *READ EXCERPT*
Understanding Plant Clocks- this is where you start looking at the real expert gardeners and say, can’t you plant spinach in the spring and fall?
Photoperiodism is about the length of the light and dark period in 24h. With the length of uninterrrupted darkness as a critical Part. Photoperiodism refers to the flowering response of a plant to the length of day, or more precisely, the length of the light and dark periods.
See Organic Gardening Article. Will touch BRIEFLY on this. Still trying to wrap my head around this, but use it as a TOOL.
A long-day plant requires fewer than a certain number of hours of darkness in each 24-hour period to induce flowering. These plants typically flower in the northern hemisphere during late spring or early summer as days are getting longer. These plants want to flower as we move toward the longest days of the year. Long-day plants flower and bear fruit during the months wherein the nights are short and the days are long.
In general, short-day (i.e. long-night) plants flower as days grow shorter (and nights grow longer) after 21 June in the northern hemisphere, which is during summer or fall. These plants want to flower earlier in spring or in fall.
Day-neutral plants flower and bear fruit all year round.
Day-neutral plants, such as cucumbers, roses and tomatoes, do not initiate flowering based on photoperiodism at all; they flower regardless of the night length. They may initiate flowering after attaining a certain overall developmental stage or age, or in response to alternative environmental stimuli, such as vernalisation (a period of low temperature), rather than in response to photoperiod.
Avoid the summer solstice entirely for fast maturing long day crops like turnips, radishes, beets, and mustards.
Plant them as midsummer as fall crops, they are crisp and creamy, with long luxuriant leaves….
Soil is drained and passed ‘boot test’: NO is footprint leaves a shiny surface, indicating too much moisture content near the surface YES if footprint looks dull, meaning excess water has drained away. Soil is not frozen and workable Length of day, temperat
To combat pests and your own ‘drive’- try new things!
Plants can sunburn, windburn, overheat, freeze and go into stress, just like us.
If you remember that plants are like people, you can end up ahead as a gardener.
Harden off both purchased or indoor seed plants
Need a transition period to accustom to being totally exposed to the elements.
Would you spend all day in the sun first time out after winter … no! http://gardenwise.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/wilting-plant.jpg
Set plants outside in full or partial sun for 2-3 hours the first day, then bring in. Next day, put them out 3-4 hours, then set in share for a few hours Provide windbreak (young plants can snap) After 3-4 days of gradual increasing exposure to sun, leave them out all day long. After 2 weeks, ok to leave them outsdie all night (if it doesn’t freeze!
Transplant on a cloudy and wind free day in the late afternoon. Keep stress low.
Soak plan before removing from container to keep roots intac
Make sure seedbed is ‘ready’ – turned and fresh compost added
Cradle root ball to keep soil intact and have fewer root haris get exposed to air and die
Scoop out hole about 3-4 inches deep Put in a good handful of compost Strip off outer leaves of all transplants except peppers and eggplants. Usually kill some roots when transplanting. Removing leaves helps to focus the plant energy back to root formation. Set the root ball in the hole and fill in with soil and make sure the roots make good contact Give them a good soak…..like make it muddy! Helps cement the roots to the soil and provides the least possible delay in new growth. **water heavily first 3-4 days**
Hot caps- waxed paper caps. An individual greenhouse for every plant! Protect seeds and plants from the harsh environment early in the planting season. Extends your growing season by 2 to 4 weeks! These wax-paper domes can be re-used if handled with care and can be set in place quickly and easily. Perfect for annuals, bedding plants and vegetables at a time when plants are most vulnerable. Will also reduce the effects of rain, birds and insects. Easy to use. Easy to compost. Reemay is a spun-bonded, reusable polyester fabric that floats over the plants in the row while allowing 75% light transmission. Crops grown under Reemay produce earlier with higher quality harvests. Tests show temperatures under the Reemay are 3-7°F warmer than surrounding uncovered areas. Use to protect crops from wind and destructive insects. The porous fabric allows light, air, and moisture through. Place Reemay loosely over the seed or plant bed. To secure the edges, cover with a board or bury the edges in soil. Lasts 1-4 growing seasons depending on its accumulated exposure to the sun. Cloches- refer more to the bell-shape than to the function. The function of a Cloche is to protect plants from cold, heat, or loss of moisture. The glass cloche was designed to be placed over the plant when the risk of frost or bad weather was forecast in order to protect it. Today cloches come in many shapes the best are still made from glass but it is possible to get them in plastic too.
Wall-o-water- The original Wall O’ Water is still the best way to plant earlier and harvest longer. You can plant 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost when using a Wall O Water. It works well for most fruits and vegetables, but particularly well for tomatoes and peppers.
Chip and Susan Planck have just retired in 2011, after thirty-five years of direct market farming at Wheatland Vegetable Farms in Purcellville, Virginia. This year’s Harvest Dinner will honor Chip and Susan Planck’s contribution to the vitality of the local food-shed and their impact as mentors on a generation of new farmers.
Dates of Note
• Two months prior to Frost Free Date You can
• In NOVA: St Patrick's Day- Plant Peas
• In NOVA: St. Patrick’s Day- Start some other
early spring goodies: carrots, spinach, beets,
and some lettuces
• Mother's Day: This is a key date for our area
- basically, the last day of frost has occurred
and it's time to move our peppers and
tomatoes and heat loving plants into our
garden. Sow your Cilantro, parsley now!
• July 4th- Plant potatoes and squash (avoid
How many can relate? Another variable in the topic of timing!
Understanding the role of Plant Clocks
Long Day Plants
Examples include: : (not comprehensive)
Lettuce Mustard Greens
Napa Cabbage Pea
Long-day plants flower and bear fruit during the months wherein
the nights are short and the days are long.
Short Day Plants (i.e. long night)
Examples include: (not comprehensive)
Cucumber * Okra
Soybean Pigeon Pea
Sweet potato Black Currant
Winged Bean Lamb’s Quarter
Black eye peas Common Bean *
Hops Lima Bean
Sunflower Yardlong Bean
* Some cultivars
Short-day plants flower and bear fruit during the months
where the nights are long and the days are short.
Day Neutral Plants
Examples include: (not comprehensive)
Apple Brussels Sprouts
Tomato Wine Grape
Day-neutral plants flower and bear fruit all year round.
What this ‘P’ word means to us home gardeners…..
Avoid the summer solstice entirely for
fast maturing long day crops like turnips,
radishes, beets, and mustards.
Plant them midsummer as fall crops.
Indicators that you can plant cool crops outside
Cool weather veggies (spring and fall)
Carrots Collard Greens
Onions (spring only) Arugula
Leeks Shallots (fall planting only)
Bok Choy Mustard Greens
Garlic (in fall only) Potatoes (spring planting only)
Veggies you can plant PRIOR to last frost & in fall
Warm weather veggies
Beans (Pole & Bush) Watermelon
Cantaloupe Sweet Potatoes
Corn Summer Squash
Veggies you can plant after threat of frost is passed
One of the most important steps- Hardening off.
Hardening off process …
1.Set plants outside in full or partial sun for 2-
3 hours the first day, then bring in.
2.Next day, put them out 3-4 hours, then set
in shade for a few hours.
3.After 3-4 days of gradual increasing
exposure to sun, leave them out all day long.
4.After 2 weeks, ok to leave them outside all
night (if it doesn’t freeze!
The art of ‘transplanting’ – Rules of Thumb
The art of ‘transplanting’ – No Shock Technique
Just a cool picture!
Preparing for the unknown weather…. Or gambling
From the experts
• Sow 2 weeks before the
recommendations on the seed
• Patiently wait until the seedlings
have 2 sets of true leaves (not
transplanting. I get stronger
plants, and way fewer fatalities.
• All my seeds are started on heat
mats set at 75 – 80 degrees,
speeding up germination, then
moved to the sunny side of the
• Oh, I also cover all seeds with
sand (play sand is great), and put a
low blowing fan above the flats to
increase air circulation. This
eliminates damping off.
From the experts- Susan Planck
• Never allow seedlings to be stretching for light.
Snap peas can take the cold. So can spinach and
• We cover all plantings, all season of squash and
cukes with row cover, removing row cover for good,
only when plants begin to blossom.
• We cover all planting of lettuce all season,
removing to pick and then recovering.
• We cover the first planting of tomatoes until plants
• We cover eggplant until end of June , uncovering
from time to time to pickoff potato beetles.
• We uncover all covered crops weekly to use our
food grade foliar water based fertilizer.
• I also used a biodynamic calendar during the last
ten years or so for seeding dates. I would use the
schedule I sent you, and pick the fruit, root, flower
or leaf day closest to the date I wanted.