Gardening is not quarantined! (Guest Post) - Our Daily Green

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Gardening is not quarantined! (Guest Post)

Today's post is what hopes to be the beginning of regular contributions from "Mama Green" -- who has shared her wisdom in the past with us. The last time I visited her, I marveled at her indoor garden and asked her to write an article for Our Daily Green. We have included links a company that we are affiliated with, and if you use their site, we recieve a small commission. Any proceeds will go to mom.

Visit Urban Leaf for Garden Starting Supplies

Here we are in the beginning of the first year of the 2020 decade MMXX

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

It is “SPRINGING” with greening grass, emerging daffodils, birds building nests and days getting longer. There is HOPE in our hearts for a bountiful garden this season. 

Despite being faced with a heretofore unknown pandemic, we CAN STILL look forward to planting. Now is the time to begin to nurture seeds to become plants. I treated myself to a Hydroponic Garden which placated my throbbing GREENTHUMB during January and Februart.

March is the time to begin sprouting some garden seedlings. All early brassicas, celery, eggplant and peppers can be started in March. The second week of April is time to start tomatoes, chard, cukes and summer squashes. Many annual flowers can be sown also. Wait until late May to direct seed others.

To begin indoor gardening it is necessary to supply soil (NOT dirt). Seed-starting mix is a light blend of peat and vermiculite. I add coffee grounds and ground eggshells to my mix. Keep the soil mix damp, but not wet. I plant in paper egg carton cups and add water to the tray from bottom. Cover with plastic to create a greenhouse effect. To simulate Spring Sunshine, HEAT and LIGHT are needed. I use an electric blanket covered with a plastic tablecloth to imitate warm earth…70 degrees needed for germination. Sunlight of 8-10 hours is mimicked by a grow light or ordinary florescent bulb. Light is needed when sprouts appear. Begin with light a few inches and gradually move to 10-12 inches as plants grow. Rotate as needed to avoid weakening the stems.

Often in an artificial environment, “damp-off” occurs at the soil level of the seedling. A sprinkling of cheap cinnamon powder will solve that. All utensils and pots needed to be sterile to avoid disease. As soon as the outside temperatures are a consistent 70 degrees, begin “hardening” off your  fledglings. Place them in a wind protected area in semi-shade for a few days and gradually expose them to ordinary atmosphere. 

When you begin to “PARENT” plants treat them as you would a child. Gentle coddling at birth, patient training as youngsters and “tough-love” as adolescents. Nurture them with food and water, affection, and protection. Talk to them, give them music, and love. They will reward you with wonderful GIFTS!

ISOLATION and SOCIAL DISTANCING are NOT necessary when you deal with “green and growing” entities. They are products of Mother Nature, one of God’s marvelous gifts to us. GET GROWING!

byline: Carol Perzy
Greenfield Gardens
Litchfield, Ohio

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