An Uncomplicated Life Blog: How To Grow A Prosperous Garden From Seeds

Monday, April 16, 2018

How To Grow A Prosperous Garden From Seeds

After harvesting my first batch of vegetables from my veggie garden, these are the lessons I learned and what I'm doing differently for my summer garden


FINALLY, I'm harvesting my vegetables from my fall garden. Well, some of them! I enjoyed several massive salads from my arugula and those plants got pulled before our first frost. I left the root veggies in the ground to see how long they'd make it... Never expecting it to be the longest, coldest winter we've had in ages with basically half of December, all of January and February well below freezing. The frost did kill off the radishes, but my carrots, leeks and cauliflower grew on! I didn't even cover the raised veggie garden bed, thinking it was all a lost cause because of our horrific weather. As you can see from the photos, I was wrong! I did learn some important lessons from this first garden though, and am sharing those in the forms of tips for how you can grow a prosperous garden from seeds.


1) Start your seeds in a seeder or small cup
I started my first garden right in the bed, dumping all the seeds in the packet right into the soil. I did manage to keep them in nice rows, but didn't follow the spacing directions on the plants because I knew not all the seeds would sprout. This resulted in some funny spacing - especially for my cauliflower! The better way to go about this is to start your seeds in a seeder or in small cups (I used egg cartons) so that you can re-plant the seedlings that sprout and get your spacing right in your actual garden.


2) Know your direction of sunlight 
When I planted my first garden, I didn't think about how tall plants get and what order they should be in. I just lined up rows, threw in seeds and hoped something would end up growing. A much better, more planned way to go about it is to consider what direction your light is coming from and plant the tallest plants in the back, shortest plants in the front. This way your tall plants won't shade out your short ones! I put my carrots in the rows that the sunlight hits first, and they got so tall by the end that my leeks were nearly always shaded, and it stumped their growth. If I'd have planned better, I'd have put them on the other side of the garden bed so that they didn't shade any other plant with their height. Now I know!

Carrots overrunning my leeks! I'll know better next time

3) Prepare for critters
I had researched a pest control spray for any bug that might have invaded my garden (a mixture of apple cider vinegar, peppermint and clove essential oils) but I was totally unprepared for squirrels! They didn't want my produce, they just wanted a place to bury their nuts, but their digging ruined a solid 10 to 15% of my garden. Once I noticed it in my veggie garden, I noticed they dug in my potted plants too. Outside of completely caging in my raised veggie garden bed, I'm not sure how to stop that, so for my next planting, I'm just leaving them space around the edges to dig (they seem to like the edges best). If you can't beat 'em, at least learn to live with them, right?! I'm sure I'll have a follow up to how this plan worked; in the meantime if you know how to deal with aggressively digging squirrels, leave me a comment.

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Growing your own garden is a ton of fun! Especially if you have kids, it's great to teach them about where their food comes from and how plants grow. My kids love helping in the garden with watering and weeding, and looking for bugs. Growing your garden from seeds takes a bit more work and thought than simply buying the plants at a garden center and replanting them, but if you plan ahead, it's even more fun because you watch those seedlings grow and turn into your food.

6 comments:

  1. We grow a garden from seeds every year. I love watching them grow from seeds into a bountiful garden! These are great tips, too. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I have always wanted to start my own small garden but I am such a chicken, I feel like I will spend a bunch of money and then screw it up! I pinned this for when I get brave enough

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  3. I have a mini garden at home. We live in a tiny apartment so this is the best I can do, made a post about it, GARDEN IN THE CITY. I bought seeds and my kids had fun planting them. Sometimes, we buy seedlings from an agricultural shop and transfer them in big pots.

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  4. We've tried doing this a couple years ago, but our yard didn't get much sun, so I think that's why our plants didn't thrive once we moved them outside. Plan on trying again this year now that we cut down one of the big trees!

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  5. We don't have a very big garden, but even our small plot require a lot of attention. And I totally feel your pain regarding the squirrels: It does seem like when you get one critter under control in your garden, another moves in to challenge you.

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  6. I'm going to try these tips. I SO want to have a nice big garden, but I always seem to mess it up somehow. Thanks for sharing!

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