We try it!

We Try It! Growing Your Own Starters

Many of my amazing friends and family have started their own square foot gardens. I set one up for myself…sort of”¦a couple of years ago. The first year, my garden wasn’t built until early June.

IF you are at all familiar with the pacific northwest, then you know that is about the end of our growing season. Everything should be in the ground by mid-May. The garden was my Mother’s day gift”¦the gift that keeps on giving. So I quickly bought some great vegetable starters that were about ready to produce tasty goodness. I had one blueberry plant, peas, two tomato plants, and bell peppers. My tomatoes never ripened and my peppers never grew. My blueberry plant gave me five berries. My strawberries did really well and grew like mad!

A great example of a thriving Square Foot Garden
A square foot garden just starting out

The second year, I learned that you should have two blueberry bushes, even if the plant literature says don’t worry about it. So I bought another bush, tried the tomatoes again, the peppers, broccoli, and bought a variety of pea plants. I planted spinach but something ate all my starts. My broccoli did really well, as did the blueberries and peas. I discovered I prefer snap peas to traditional peas.

My second year attempt at a garden. I think part of the problem is this is not a square.

Third year is a charm. This year, I decided to do something new! I grew seed starters. I planted peas, broccoli, and cucumber seeds (which takes a lot of space, so I only plan on putting one or two in the ground). I still have my strawberries and blueberries.

This idea of growing my own starts began with garlic. I discovered it was growing when I went to mince it. So I threw four cloves into a pot of dirt. Then I thought, hey I could do this on a large scale. If I spend $10 on the seeds instead of $2 per starter, then I might save some money.

I talked to a horticulture teacher that told me to get my seeds started by April 21st. I planted my seeds on Monday the 23rd, late I know. I used the seed growing pellets. But my seeds grew within three days. By the end of one week, I had to plant them in the ground because they were TOO tall for the terrarium I was using. My cucumbers have not grown yet; hopefully I get at least one plant from the seeds.

They are growing!

Now I worry that some critter is going to snatch them before the plants are strong enough to stand. Argh. I guess it is a good thing I have a cat that catches EVERYTHING (including the rat he brought to me at 5 am this morning and the two rabbits last week). I feel way more attached to these little plants than I have to my starts in the past. Perhaps because I grew them!

Last I checked, several of my broccoli are missing. But that is okay. I planted way more than needed with the idea to pull some up once they really took hold. I only need one or two plants. My strawberries are going really well.

Do you garden? How is it going??

By Trulybst

Pursuing life to its fullest. A woman, a mom, wife, and struggling teacher who knows the importance of treating myself right.

9 replies on “We Try It! Growing Your Own Starters”

I just planted leeks, shallots and pak choi, hoping that will see us through the winter! The rainbow chard and spinach are still going great guns, as is the jalapeno plant. My herb garden is getting there too, hoping to have the entire space under our bedroom window just full of lovely herbs.

We also have a rogue pumpkin growing out of season. Not sure what to do with that thing! The strawberries also keep producing fruit- we’re coming into winter now! This girl from the deep south cannot get over that.

I am super lazy and worried that I would suck at this too.  The first two years my focus was on the veggies and my flowers suffered.  This year, thanks to UFYH mentality I have managed to work on both.  I think I might actually have the hang of it.

I planted my potatoes last week! My mom prepped them for me (9 varieties! I only had room for 8).

I have raspberries and I’m crossing my fingers that my strawberries actually do something this year. But since I’ve been so busy with other life things, I haven’t had time to get anything else planted.

Hopefully I can get things planted soonish. In the end, I may just rely on the plants to sink or swim for themselves. Growing anything in Oregon is so easy anyway. My neighborhood used to be a cherry orchard so I’m hoping the soil is still good.

(and it may be the cat that’s eating your starts… I have neighbor cats that come into my yard and nom on things… bastards)

My raspberries came with the house and managed to stay because a few produced some delicious berries. But there are TOO MANY and I am giving away dozens of plants. I hope that by reducing the number of plants, they might produce more berries.

If you put a little bit of deer netting around the garden while the plants are young, it should help prevent nomming. The netting can be removed when the plants get bigger.  (I put the stuff over my raspberries because of stupid birds taking all my deliciousness)

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