Every season in New England is wonderful but at the end of a very snowy winter, I can’t help but look forward to the warmth of spring, the first flower blossoms opening, and starting seeds for my vegetable garden. Spring is here…let’s start our gardening.
Before I start the new planting season, I enjoy looking back at photos of the previous spring to remind me of what’s to come…beautiful flowers everywhere, our orchard in bloom and a potting shed full of plants waiting to be transported to the garden at our summer cottage in Maine.
Last year, warm weather had plants and trees in New England blooming earlier than normal and it was beautiful as you can see from the photos above. Although the calendar indicates that it is spring, it hasn’t looked or felt like it so far this year here in New Hampshire. At the end of March, we had a lot of snow on the ground. Even though we have had daytime temperatures above freezing, there are still patches of snow on the ground in sections of the orchard but it should be gone in another day or two.
The potting shed has been empty all winter except for a lemongrass plant that I dug up from the garden in Maine. The counters are empty but not for long. Let’s go plant seed.
If you are new to my blog, you might not have seen the interior of my potting shed. It was built over a cellar bulkhead that wasn’t needed anymore. It has a large stainless steel sink with two drainboards, a stainless steel potting table, and a large wood potting table with under counter storage for planting items plus tools I need for working in the orchard. It has north and south facing windows as well as a skylight for plenty of natural light.
I use organic seed starter to plant my vegetable seeds in each spring. I mist the mixture well until it is damp and then place some in shallow seed starting containers. Most of the seeds are very small and I like to use tweezers to place one seed into each cell.
After the seeds are planted in labeled cells, they are misted well and placed in the planting cell’s tray base which will catch any dripping water when they are watered.
Even though my potting shed is heated, I bring the tray into the house until the seeds have germinated. I cover them with plastic wrap and keep them in the warmest place in my home. You might remember from last year that the sunniest place is in my bathroom.
In five days time, the basil has germinated. Over the next two days, half the heirloom tomato seeds germinated. The others popped up a couple of days later. The tiny plants will be going out to the potting shed over the weekend and put under grow lights.
If you haven’t started a few seeds, I hope this post will inspire you. Even if you don’t have room for a garden, think how nice it would be to have a couple of pots of fresh herbs to use when cooking. Perhaps you have room for a couple of tomato plants grown in containers. There is nothing better than a summer tomato right off the vine. Spring is here for those of us that live in the northern hemisphere so…. let’s start gardening.