Gardening Season is fast approaching and for some veggies, we are already in the time to plant them. So, check your local gardening resources and see what planting zone you are in and when you need to start! If you are in Texas, he is a map of the zones http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/hardiness.html
I am in 8B...so if you are too, its time to plant or start thinking about what you want to plant. For instance, you can plant carrots now but tomatoes are not until March 5th!
This past weekend, we went to the garden center and bought some peat pellets. What are peat pellets, you ask? This is what a tray of them look like
You can buy a peat pellets tray of 72 for $6.99 at Home Depot and Wal Mart. It comes with 72 little dirt disc like things and it is a great way to sprout things from a seed. It is a tray about 2 ft by one foot and it has these 6 rows of 12 discs and you water the discs and they puff up to be a little bigger than a ping pong ball.
Then you take 3 seeds and put then in the center of each little pot/disc and you wait to see them grow. Once they grow a few inches (like for peas it will take about a week), then you start taking the tray outside and getting the plants used to the sun. Take them out during the day and bring them in at night. This is called "hardening them off." Then eventually you take each little plant and you just plant the pod with the plant in the ground. Its a way to get the seed growing and sprouting before you put it in the ground.
See, like in the picture, the right is the disc, you add water, plant the seeds, then once it sprouts, you take the whole thing and plant it.
Its a good way to make your own starter plants and can save you some money. You can always try to just put the seeds in the ground, many people have success with that as well. This just provides a little green house environment for the beginning of the plants life.
If more than one seed grows and you have 3 stems, then you just cut off all but the strongest looking one and then plant it.
We did one tray of these this weekend with our little boy and it was fun. We did peas, carrots, beats, basil, and chives. I also bought a starter plant for kale and jalapenos. We plan on buying more and doing a raised bed garden once we get our tax return money back.
So, stay tuned for more!
P.S. I should put out this disclaimer...I am not a Master Gardener...I am not highly skilled in this, I kind of just wing it. I took the Master Gardner lab in college because I needed a one hour science class and I took a Horticulture class....but I have only had one in ground garden and a container garden in my adulthood....so I know enough to be dangerous but not enough to really know anything, so please do not take my word as Gardening Law...because I may say something totally kooky! But I am happy to share whatever knowledge I have and hope to inspire you to plant a tomato plant or something!