Starting a Garden From Seeds

| 4/4/2016 10:30:00 AM

The first seed catalogs start coming in the mail after Christmas, and I’m like a little kid from decades ago with the latest Sears catalog, closely examining the “enhanced” photos of glorious healthy vegetables at their peak.

After a couple of weeks, I come to my senses and order only a few packets of things that I know will actually grow in my garden and begin my annual process of starting a complete garden from little dry specks called seeds.

Although seed catalogs can be pretty exciting (at least for me, lol) and I want to grow everything I see, I need to be practical. My personal priorities for buying seeds are:

1. Vegetables that I use the most get top priority. What I have left over in early fall can be frozen or preserved in other ways — tomatoes being my favorite.

2. Due to the shorter growing season here in Colorado, plants that have a short growing period are my first choice. I look for as close to 50 days as I can get. I start tomatoes and peppers in early March. Other plants are started based on their plant-to-harvest times, working backwards from the last frost date. Some seeds are planted directly into the soil (green beans, carrots, beets, turnips, leafy plants such as lettuce, chard, kale, arugula, some herbs). You can download my seed starting chart here.

3. Plants that are hardy. Again, very important! I look for resistance to as many diseases as possible without buying GMO.

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