Hello everyone welcome back to another Farm Fact Friday. Today, I’m in the basement and we are going to talk about getting ready for the garden. A lot of what we talk about in Farm Fact Friday is understanding what it takes to bring things from farm to table and this is just another example of a way that anybody who is interested in planting flowers or a garden can do it from start and watch it all the way through the process until you get the end product of a flower or a piece of produce. So what I want to talk about today is just how to get started, when to start and what that those beginning stages look like.
So yes, you can go to a store, yes you can go to your local greenhouse to support local and buy these plants but it also has to start somewhere for those organizations. As well they’re probably much better at it being their background in horticulture and their that’s their job is to provide that type of product for us. It’s just a fun family learning activity that hopefully it works out so it’s possible it keeps the kids entertained and I encourage you to try it as well if you can. So the first thing is when to start, the important thing to know is that timing is everything and you want your plants to be ready when it’s favorable outside. So when it’s time to plant your garden or it’s time to put in your flowers you want to make sure that your plants are ready and how do you know what that timing is that is related to what seeds you decide to plant and the information about those seeds.
So, the first step in how to do this is select your seeds on those seed packs it tells you how much time in advance to plant those seeds so that’s important information. So select your seeds first and then you can get started, you’ll need some sort of container now these are planting containers that have the drainage piece added to it to make sure that those seeds don’t get too wet but you don’t have to use this you can use household things like yogurt containers and just poke holes in it to make sure that that extra water can get out and doesn’t drown the seed out. Then you’ll want to prepare the soil so important not to just go out and dig up some dirt and important not to use old soil so we went and got some planting soil made it moist didn’t over wet it to make sure that you know we don’t want it clumpy or over saturated but just enough so that it can start to get that seed you know wet when it’s planted and then the next step would be planting your seeds.
So, another thing that the seed packet will provide is information of how the seeds should be planted should they be put into the dirt or should they just be sprinkled on top so after the planting happens then you can cover it with plastic so we have the plastic tops that were on it this helps to keep the moisture in of course to help get those seeds started and then as soon as you start to see green those can be removed. So now we have plants here the whole time we’ve had light on them of course plants still need darkness. So that they can rest too but the light is very very important as that’s how plants grow, photo photosynthesis and it starts with light so these lights are put down pretty close to the plants and as the plants get taller we’ll just keep adjusting those lights up and they’re also on a timer so it’ll stay lit for the period of time that we’ve selected and then they’ll go off to come on again when indicated. So very important to make sure that they’re getting plenty of light and also staying hydrated.
So, some chores for kids or parents to do as well to make sure the seeds are well tended to which creates responsibility so also a good thing and then there’s a transition period of once these plants are ready to move outside we have to get them ready for the elements as well. So this can take several days and it’s a process called hardening off so you set them outside in a protected area for a period of time and make sure you bring them in and then you can continue to lengthen that period of time until they are ready to be outside and they’re ready to be planted. So this is exciting for our kids you know to see the process of getting everything prepared now they’re seeing some green pop-up which is really exciting and then we’ll continue to nurture these plants make sure they have what they need until we can take them outside to go through the hardening off process and then plant them in planters or the garden. Depending on what it is that we’ve grown so here this tray here we did flowers and the other three trays are a variety of vegetables
This tray, the green that you’re seeing popping up are zinnias which are an easier seed to grow. Down here at the bottom are petunias which was an attempt but they are harder to grow and it is apparent in our first attempt at growing our own flowers. So we’re excited about this. I’m still gonna go support local greenhouses to get additional plants but this was just one way to you know bring some extra excitement and like I said doing that whole beginning to end farm to table piece is a good learning experience. So with that by golly have a great rest of your Friday a wonderful weekend and we will check you back next week for another Farm Fact Friday take care.