Thinking of Spring? Here is your garden checklist for March.
MAKE A PLAN
Dream big but start small…don’t over-commit.
Set goals for this gardening season (i.e. grow more herbs, try a newvegetable, compost your kitchen waste, etc).
SKETCH AND EVALUATE YOUR SITE
Where do I get full sunlight and for how long?
What is my soil like?
Where is my water supply?
Is the garden safe from kids, pets, critters, neighbors, etc.?
Is the garden convenient?
Do I need to build a garden?
Pencil in where you want to put things.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO GROW
Evaluate your families eating habits
Identify what you want to grow and how much.
GET THE RIGHT TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
Make sure your tools are sharpened and working properly.
Use a soil thermometer.
Soil temp, not air temp, can be a more reliable indicator of when to start growing than air temp
START GATHERING SEEDS!
Visit the Wood River Seed Library located at the Community Library in Ketchum
Order seeds you can’t find locally.
Mark your calendar: 2016 Earth Day Seed Exchange, April 23 Noon-2pm at the Grange in Hailey.
Choose short season varieties for our short growing season.
START YOUR OWN SEEDLINGS
– Read the packet! Most seed packets have lots of useful information Including:
Thinning, if necessary
Days to maturity
Days to emerge
When to sow indoors/outdoors
Containers: These can range from recycled plastic pots, to eggcartons, to seed starting trays found at your local garden retailer.
Growing medium: Purchase a pre-made seed starter soil or make your own using a mix of 4 parts compost, 2 parts peat moss, 1 part vermiculite, and 1 part perlite.
Light: Seeds won’t need light until they emerge from the surface of the soil, but then they need strong sunlight for most of the day. This prevents them from getting “leggy”. (leggy=weak)
If you don’t have a sunny window, use florescent lighting.
Moisture: Germination will be best if soil is kept from drying out.
Bottom watering is a great option to prevent damaging seedlings as they emerge.
Hardening off: As the seedlings grow into plants and the date to plant outside is getting near, it is important to start “toughening them up” for their natural environment.
Start by opening a window to give them a breeze.
Next, start moving them outside, out of direct sunlight, for a few hours.
Gradually increase the amount of time left outside until they can stay out all day.
Finally, it is time to put all your planning, preparation, and seed starting to work!