Sunday, October 24, 2010

Re-Seeding the Winter Garden

I started seedlings for a late fall harvest back in July in the hopes that I would be harvesting root and leaf vegetables around this time. FAIL! Despite a cooler summer, most of the seedlings either burned up in the sun or died during the transplant process (a temporary black thumb effort on my part). A small group of broccoli, cabbage, and snap peas survived only to be eaten by slugs. Some hardy lettuces have sprouted as well as arugula from plants I allowed to go to seed last winter. 

My next experiment in is to re-seed now and have a harvest in late winter/ early spring. Using a pen, I poked holes in the still damp dirt in 2.5 foot rows. I deposited two nursery-bought seeds in each hole and covered gently with my weeding tool. I did not water the seeds to allow them to sink and find root in the soil. I'll let the rain and existing moisture water the plants until the soil dries out completely. To top it off, I added a fine layer of nitrogen-rich vegetable fertilizer. My re-seeded vegetables are radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, arugula, romaine, leeks, carrots, yellow onions, and snap peas.

  For my flowers, I used seeds that I had gathered and dried at the beginning of summer. I planted them in a similar process, but instead of rows, I planted the nasturtium at random to fill in spaces in the butterfly garden. I planted the sweet peas in their own separate bed surrounding the base of over-turned round tomato cages. The cages will act as supports as the plants grow. These two types of flowers have also popped up on their own, re-seeding themselves from last year's flowers.

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