Good Pickins # 19 (Seed & Garden Edition)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- almost springtime! We still haven’t officially planned out our garden, but by golly, we had better do it soon. We have a lot of saved seeds from last year, but will be ordering some new ones from Johnny’s. And in just a couple of short weeks, it will be time for us to start our seeds indoors!

Summer '13--March '14 022(It won’t be long, it won’t be long, it won’t be long…)

Today, my “pickins'” will be focused on seed starting and garden planning. This is partially because we need to be doing it ASAP, and partially because I think it goes along with my $25 grocery challenge. Chances are, we couldn’t eat on that little a week without having our own preserved garden food. Planning ahead for a successful garden will help to keep us well-fed next year too!

Find Your Hardiness Zone– Find out what you can plant depending on where you live. All seed packets are labeled with a “Zone,” so do make sure you’re buying plants that match your official zone!

Seed Library with Origami Seed Envelopes– It’s a little late for me this year, but this would have been a smart, pretty, and functional way for me to store my seeds over winter. Let’s just say I put various mystery squash seeds into plastic ziplocs and didn’t label them. Oops.

Simple Seed Germination Test– If you have saved seeds from last year’s garden (or old purchased seeds), you can find out if they’re viable with this simple test. No need to waste a bunch of starting medium and grow space on your seed-starting shelf.

A 10 Step Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors– From Backyard Roots. This series is super helpful for the newbie who wants to start seeds inside rather than waiting to buy a plant at the local nursery. Kellie breaks down each part of seed starting into super simple steps, and helps you to avoid common problems along the way.

Planning Your Vegetable Garden– Grow a Good Life shares how she goes about planning and mapping her vegetable garden each spring. I like her approach. She is sure to consider crop rotation and succession planting, and gives priority space to her “necessity” crops first.

If you want to use technology to plan out your garden space, try Mother Earth’s vegetable garden planner, or The Old Farmer’s Almanac garden planner. While you can try them both for free for 30 days, they do eventually have a fee. My husband was so impressed with the Old Farmer’s Almanac version that we considered paying the annual subscription cost— but didn’t! Just having printable plans made up was helpful enough for us.

Do you plant a garden? Do you have any favorite resources or tips to share? Link them below so I can learn from you!

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