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Selecting The Best Seed

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Near the end of my post last week, I shared that I have a childlike fascination with germinating seeds. This might be a good time to confess that I enjoy watching plants grow even more than eating the vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit that I produce. I admit; it’s easier to buy the transplants, but you’ll not experience the rewards and gratification that only come by starting from seed. The seed for some of the cultivars I grow are not always available at my favorite garden center, so I often shop on line. Let’s assume I’ve convinced you to start from seed. Today’s post will offer suggestions on selecting the right varieties of seed for growing a vegetable garden on a My Garden Post.

You only have one basic restriction when you choose the vegetable seeds or transplants to grow a salad garden on My Garden Post, the mature height of the plant. Always select compact varieties and crops that naturally mature at less than 24”. Here’s a collection that has worked very well for me.

  • Bush Steak Tomato (2 plants per 1 large planter)
  • Tiny Tim Tomato (1 plant per 1 small planter)
  • Cucumber “Spacemaker” (2 groups of 3 seedings per 1 large planter)
  • Mesculun “Salad Mix” (crowd 6 plants per 1 small planter)
  • Lettuce “Gourmet Mix” (crowd 6 plants per 1 small planter)
  • Hybrid Pepper “Sweet California” (2 plants per 1 large planter)
  • Spinach “Summer Perfection” (6 plants per 1 small planter)

I’m not loyal to any one seed company

I sowed these seeds November 2

Eight days later, the peppers and lettuce won’t be seen for a few more days.

About Watering

Watering the propagation tray pictured below is easy, but the process is very unforgiving. With bottom heat or sun, the germinating mix tends to try out in a day or two with very little warning. Seeds and seedlings require consistent moisture. The new plants are so tender it’s easy to find them wilted flat on the tray. It’s best to inspect your propagation trays every day until you determine how often they will need water added. You’ll soon learn to associate the color of the medium with the need to add water to the tray.

See explanation below.

I water from the bottom up; meaning that I lift the styrofoam insert with seedlings and pour a ½” of fertilized water in the black plastic try. Then I set the insert back in place. The germinating mix wicks the water to the surface, irrigating and feeding the new seedlings.

Next week I’ll check up on the peppers and lettuce to see if they have sprouted and make recommendations on fertilizers for our salad garden. I welcome your comments and questions. Best regards, Oliver

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