I might be getting a little ahead of myself using that S word in the title, but according to my planting schedule, spring is right around the corner. The estimated final frost date for our area is the week of May 25th, so as soon as our seeds arrived in the mail I went through and organized them by planting time. This is what I came up with.

Feb 16 – eggplants, artichokes
Mar 2 – onions, peppers
Mar 16 – tomatoes, celery, rice
Mar 23 – amaranth, daisies, delphinium, lavender
Mar 30 – brussels sprouts, sage, basil, , thyme, marjoram
Apr 6 – cabbage
Apr 13 – broccoli, cauliflower, marigolds
Apr 20 – dahlias, zinnias
May 11 – melons
May 25 – everything else 🙂

I might have jumped the gun a few days since it’s only the 9th today, but can you blame me? I’m excited! I foresee myself planting many things early in my exuberance for spring to be here.

Now, I promised y’all some pictures of the seed shelves I was working on. I finally brought them upstairs from the basement yesterday and started putting them together. I wasn’t satisfied with my original plans (too much space between shelves), so I moved things around and added another shelf on top. You can tell the new one because it’s the only one not painted. Ah well. I’ll get it next year.

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It’s kind of a monstrosity. It stands 8′ tall because that’s how tall the wood was and by golly I wasn’t about to let that extra length go to waste! I figure I probably won’t use the very top unless I really go overboard. My husband reads this, so I am going to try to rein myself in. I built it all out of scrap wood we had laying around in the basement. Except the 8′ pieces – those I had my husband pick up. They’re just standard wood, so they were pretty cheap. The lights, chain and trays were all things I had on hand from previous seed starting ventures.

The last time I did this, I was able to raise enough seedlings to sell and pay for most of the seeds. I might try that again, especially if I just can’t help planting too many.

Before I planted, I made sure to wash all of my equipment in a mild vinegar/dishsoap solution. I use a sterile seed starting mix of peat moss and perlite. It doesn’t make sense to go through the trouble of having a sterile medium to plant in, then toss it all into dirty trays with who-knows-what still clinging to them from previous gardening years. It sucks to see seedlings all die from damping off or mildew – experience talking.

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Tonight I planted 12 each of Ping Tung Eggplant (my favorite!), Casper Eggplant, and Violetta Precoce Artichoke. They didn’t take up much room in the tray – just 9 little squares. I’ve never tried growing artichokes. I’m not sure if they’ll actually fruit this far north, or what I will do with the roots. I might have to dig them up and store them in the basement to keep them from winter killing. I figure for a couple bucks it’s worth a try. I used to love when my mom made artichoke and fondue when I was younger. What a treat!

My next planting will be onions and peppers. Those will take up at least four trays. Our family eats about an onion a day, and I want to have extra for dehydrating, powdering, and giving away. We can easily go through as many peppers or more depending on what I cook. When I make fajitas, for instance, I use 3 large bell peppers. More if we have company. Salsa and sauces will use a lot of peppers, too. All in all, I think onions, peppers, and tomatoes will make up the bulk of our garden this year. Oh, and beans. I’m trying a lot of new varieties of dry soup beans.

Have you started planting yet? What varieties are your favorites?

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