Planning your vegetable garden

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When it’s #snomageddon2015 around your ‘hood, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your vegetable garden. Especially when it looks like this:

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I started my foray into gardening back in 2013, and I’ve been hooked ever since

Though it’s cold & snowy right now, we’ve been blessed with some unusually warm days (around 60-70 degrees) the last couple of weeks, which had me itching to plant the vegetable garden. Luckily February is the perfect time to start your little seedlings, and they’ll grow big and strong by the time you plant them outside (in Colorado, that could be anytime in early to late May).

To start, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Pots
  • Trays (for your pots, to catch any water that may drain)
  • Organic potting soil (make sure your veggies are safe to eat and clear from any chemicals)
  • Seeds
  • Trowel
  • Gardening gloves
  • Markers (optional, but I find it helps to know what seeds I’ve planted where)

I like to plan ahead and figure out which seeds I’m planting, and make markers for them. To create the markers, I use masking tape, toothpicks, and a marker:

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Once the markers are completed start to fill each of my pots with soil. I like to use these plantable pots, which not only saves on plastic, but saves you the time and energy of carefully removing your plants from the container when you go to plant them outside. Though these pots are slightly more expensive than the plastic ones (which I couldn’t reuse anyway because several ripped when I tried to remove the plants), I find they’re worth the investment.

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After you’ve filled your pots, use a pen (or screwdriver, or whatever is around) and make a small hole in each pot roughly 2/3 the way down.

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Then, I like to mark where each plant is going before I start putting seeds in (trust me, you’ll never remember otherwise).

Fill each hole with 3-4 seeds (don’t go crazy, you’ll have seeds leftover). For the really small seeds (like thyme) just use a tiny pinch. The purpose is so that your odds are better of at least one seed germinating. Once finished, gently push the dirt back over the hole and tap slightly (you want the soil packed, but not packed too densely so that the roots are able to grow and move).

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The first year I planted seedlings, we set up the trays in a spare bedroom next to a window with a western exposure. The plants had decent light, but certainly not the 10+ hours or so that is recommended.

Last year the man rigged up a grow light for me to use indoors in our basement. While the basement gets a bit chillier than our upstairs, the plants fared pretty well and we’ll be setting them up again here.

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I can’t wait to watch them grow!