In this video, green gardening expert Tim MacWelch explains organic gardening basics and describes how to plant seeds and seedlings.
Plan it ahead of time
Many if not most gardeners spend the winter months (when their gardens are filled with snow) thinking about the spring.
This is the time to plan out your organic garden. You can pore over seed catalogs, make drawings and charts, order your seeds, and generally be ready fort he moment when that last frost is gone and you can start planting. This can be great fun, as you design where everything will go and visualize what your garden will look like come summer!
Getting your seeds started
So here you are. You’ve ordered your seeds, and they’ve arrived. You’ve consulted the charts that tell you when it’s safe to plant in your location. What you need now is some nice fresh potting soil in a waterproof tray with individual cell packs. You can place six plants in these trays.
First, poke a hole in the potting soil of each of the individual cells. Take your seeds, one or two at a time, and drop them into the hole. Follow the directions on your seed packets, but remember that flat seeds need to be planted sideways (for example, pumpkin and zucchini seeds). Herbs are smaller and you can grab one or two seeds and just drop them in.
Cover the holes with the seeds in them by mashing the direct and then water it all very gently. What you want to do then is place the trays in a shady spot until you start seeing an inch of two of the seedling poking up; then it’s fine to bring them out into the sunlight. Make sure that you keep them well irrigated.
Make sure that you tag them as soon as you plant them. You want to be clear on which plant is which for when you get to the next stage, which is transplanting your seedlings.
After about one to one and a half months, your seedlings are ready to be planted in the garden in the spot that you’ve planned for them on your garden map. The absolute best time to do this is in the evening. Your seedlings are experiencing a major shock and the cool night hours will help them get used to their new environment before the sun starts scorching them.
To remove them from the trays, just push up from the bottom; you can squeeze it gently as well. The whole thing—plant, roots, soil—should pop out easily.
Put it very carefully in the hole that you’ve already provided for it in your garden plot. Backfill, and, again, water generously but gently. Congratulations: you’ve transplanted your seedlings and now you’re going to get to enjoy beautiful and delicious organic produce! Just follow MacWelch’s other tips for creating and maintaining a healthy organic garden as well as keeping pests away and you’re likely to enjoy both the garden and its products all summer long.