Garden preparations must begin early when using rare or heirloom seeds. These are the varieties grown for generations, using open-pollination methods. Hybrids were originally developed from these varieties, and more recently genetically modified seeds have been used for mass production. Rescuing rare varieties of heirloom seeds, has become extremely popular, particularly for people who practice sustainable gardening techniques.
The following preparations should begin mid-winter by most gardeners who want to ensure they have everything on hand when spring fever hits:
- Organize seed packets and determine which need to be reordered. This is particularly important when planting heirloom seeds as they often sell out by mid-March.
- Organic gardeners often use the rotation method when planting to replace nutrients taken from the soil by heavy feeders such as corn. Take this time to plan where crops will be planted. If a particular site is more friendly due to drainage or sunlight, determine which fertilizers or soil amendments should be worked into the soil. Organic products such as bone meal, kelp, and fish meal provide nutrients for tender plants.
- Grow light bulbs should be checked and replaced if necessary. Gather pots and soil to prepare for planting seedlings.
- Start heirloom seeds indoors. These can include plants which are hardy for your area and have a longer growing time. Consider broccoli, leeks, onions and radishes, depending on the climate.
- Cold frames and their better halves, hot frames can be used for transplanting seedlings. Gather material to build these and learn how they work. Fresh manure mixed with hay or straw can transform a cold frame into a hot frame quickly and easily. Construct these using lumber frames, making certain the wood doesn't contain lead-based paint.
- Add a touch of summer to the kitchen with herb seeds. A windowsill provides the perfect spot for growing basil, mint, and chives to go right into a favorite dish.
By preparing in advance, ordering heirloom seeds and organic fertilizers, gardeners will be able to take advantage of warm days when they arrive. Depending upon the climate, and year, it may be possible to dig pits for hot frames and begin working the soil. Adding garden features which combine function and beauty is a favorite project for warm days. Heirloom seeds continue to increase in popularity as families choose organic and sustainable lifestyles.
Heirloom seeds from Sustainable Seed Co, sustainableseedco.com, combined with organic gardening methods to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs can help provide healthy, nutritious food for families.
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