The growing season got here fast! For those of you who have used web-based resources, have you used smart gardener?? It’s an amazing resource that helps you plan your garden. It send you alerts via email about your personalized “to do” list of garden shores and it’s free. We heard about it from Growing Warriors, who have their participants use it to plan gardens, meals, and types of plants. The weekly “to do” list got us excited….. and then very nervous. The weekly seed starting lists are growing incrementally! Here in Rockcastle County, we’re being told to start TOMATOES soon. By the time of our workshop this past Monday, we were anxious to ask some of our seasoned gardeners if we really needed to start all of things within the next two weeks.
Ms. Saxon Brown talked about seed starting methods, problems, solutions and planting media. It helped to jump start a discussion about low-cost seed starting methods and what to start, and when. We’ve spent some time trying to navigate through resources that help calculate soil temperatures for plant germination, soil compositions for best yield, and pin pointing best dates for transplanting and seeds starting. The research was interesting and educational, but it bogged us down a little. When our participants started talking about gardening traditions, a great deal of anxiety lifted off our shoulders. These methods have been passed down through generations and require more common sense (and knowledge of the church calendar) than anything else. Many people use Good Friday as the pivotal date to start and transplant vegetables and flowers.
After Easter, many people get geared up for the more warm season crops. We also learned a lot about how people start their plants. We heard everything from toilet paper rolls or paper towels (which can be transplanted with the plant) to ice cube trays. Several have cold frames and greenhouses built out of scrap materials. Suzi (our ED) had brought in an old corner cabinet to demonstrate how to build a cold frame out of by re-purposing materials, but many participants have been doing just that for years! So, for now, we’re going to relax about planting dates and rely more on the incredible knowledge of several old time gardeners!