Memphis Backyard Farmer

Lessons Learned 1 – Plant Seedlings Early
February 19, 2011, 5:12 am
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This week as I start counting the days until plants go in the ground, I’m remembering the things I did wrong in my garden last year. Overall, last year went pretty well, but there were some little things I could have done better, or differently, that would have had a big impact on my harvest. So starting today, I’ll let you in on the mistakes I made last year as I make the corrections.

Lesson 1 is – plant seedlings earlier.

Last year I didn’t plant my seedlings indoors until mid-march. In addition, I didn’t start everything indoors that I could have. I started members of the Solanacae family – tomatoes, potatoes, peppers – indoors (did you know those were all related to the same plant family?). But I didn’t start any greens (broccoli, cabbage, turnips). If you look on the back of your seed packets, a lot of greens tell you to plant them directly in the garden, and you can generally do this early here in the south since they’re cool weather plants that can take some stress. But if you want to get a kick start on your greens before the moths come after them, you can start them indoors as seedlings, and get a quicker harvest.

What I ended up with is a constant flight with caterpillars, and small, leggy tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes that got beat up by harsh spring rain and eaten by slugs.

This year, though – it’s mid-February and I’ve got seedlings!

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