Our last blog post discussed seed-starting and how certain plants must be started indoors such as tomatoes and zucchinis.
However, you can directly sow some plants in the ground. After preparing our garden plot for proper seeding of our plants, we planted veggies that could survive even through a late frost.
These plants include onions, parsley, arugula, lettuce, swiss chard, etc. These plants are hardier and withstand frost, so we wanted to get a head start and get them in the ground before the last frost (a few weeks before the first week in May here in DC).
To sow our seeds into the earth, we made a straight line across our garden plot, and then planted our seeds according to the instructions on the back of the seed package (example: around 3-6 inches apart from each other). We gently covered the seeds over with soil. For onions, we used onion bulbs and just planted them a few inches in the ground and then covered them lightly with soil (picture shown below). You can buy your organic onion bulbs at any common or local market. Again, we purchased these at our local co-op: the Common Market.
We marked where we planted our seeds (or bulbs) using wooden Popsicle sticks that were labeled appropriately. This helps us keep our garden organized and lets us know what plants are where and what we should expect to grow in a specific location. You can be more creative or fancier and label them all sorts of ways. We found this cool creative DIY plant label post for you to check out if you want more artsy ideas or if you want to get the whole family involved including your kids (which I strongly encourage!). Start them young so they can learn the importance of growing their own food!
We set up a fence surrounding the entire garden so that pests such as rabbits or groundhogs cannot get into our garden. A simple wired fence is suitable for this. You can pick up fencing at any gardening store or a hardware store such as Home Depot. We also, as an old family trick, took aluminum pans and pin them up on the side of the fence. The reflection and the loud noise it makes banging against the fence when there is wind scares away any critters.
After planting our seeds and setting up the fence properly, we watered the entire garden. You should do this routinely throughout the week to ensure that the entire garden is saturated. After that we finished our first outdoor gardening preparation!
Quick Extra: we both love sprouts and always buy them at the grocery store. However, Chris found a seed sprouting setup we use to grow sprouts right on our kitchen counter-top (we use Broccoli and Friends Mix -Sprouting Seeds by Todd’s Seeds). You can grow your own sprouts indoors without direct sunlight. According to this blog post, sprouts are the ultimate locally-grown food, void of any unwanted pesticides, food additives, and other harmful fat-bolstering chemicals that thwart your weight loss efforts. They are super low maintenance and take about 3-5 days to grow from seed. We add them to different dishes during the week to add texture, an extra veggie, and also since they are nutrient dense. Sprouts contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as important vitamins such as K, C, and A. Sprouts also contain the minerals: manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium and can potentially prevent cancer. We just added them to a butternut squash/purple sweet potato hash that we made, adding another layer of flavor and texture! Try it out! They are a super easy locally-grown food to add to your diet with many essential health benefits!
See how cool they look below: