Seed to Table Series — Part 2
Planting Your Seedings
You've followed our tips from our March post - Seed to Table: Start Your Seedlings - and they're growing. Great news! But now what? It's time to ready your garden and get your plants into the great outdoors. We recruited Ryan and her girls to help us plant our seedlings in the winery garden, along with Daphne and Laura who helped get our seedlings started.
Part 1 - Starting Your Seedlings
Part 2 - Planting Your Seedlings
Part 2.5 - DIY Garden Structures
Part 3 - Harvesting
Enjoy our PRINTABLE Version: How to Plant Your Seedlings!
Step 1: Prepare your garden beds.
With being subjected to the outdoor elements, your garden bed soil may be several inches lower than it was last fall. To test if the soil is compacted, take a handful of soil and see if it’s light, moist and crumbly. If it isn't, then some peat may be needed to fluff it up. Once that is done, we prefer to then till in compost, which can be purchased at nurseries if you do not have your own compost.
Step 2: Transplant seedling starts.
To transfer your seedling plants to the outdoors, ensure that you have hardened the plants first (see the first Seed to Table post). Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, then place the plant into the hole, pressing down so that the roots have good contact within the soil.
If you used cow pots, you can simply dig a hole big enough for the cow pot and place the entire plant and all into the hole. The cow pot will disintegrate in the soil and provide added nutrients to the plant.
Step 3: Water.
Regardless of how much water is in the soil, always water in new plants. No ifs, ands, or buts here!
Step 4: Monitor transplants.
Keep an eye on your plants for water needs, weeds, or pests. The first two are pretty straight forward: to test water needs, simply feel the ground; if the ground around the plant is too dry, increase your watering regiment, or vice versa if there is too much water. For weeds, pull whatever you don't want growing!
The three most common forms of garden pests include aphids, slugs/snails, and caterpillars. An aphid infestation can typically be found when there are an uncommon amount of ants on your plant. Encourage ladybugs to visit your garden—they're pretty and will eat the aphids. Slugs and snails are nocturnal creatures, so they are harder to pinpoint. Remove weeds and leaves from around your plant since it provides a food source and shelter for these pests. You can also use an organic iron phosphate, such as "Sluggo." There are many forms of caterpillars—many good and many detrimental to your garden. If your plants have ragged holes in the leaves or eaten fruit (they love tomatoes!), then you have visitors of the bad kind. Keep a careful eye on those affected plants and handpick off those pesky caterpillars.
Step 5: Structures for support.
Certain garden crops need support for growing, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and pole beans. Be creative with the structures! They can be made out of wood or metal...or dig around in your shed for “garden art” like an old ladder.
Now you can sit back and watch your plants grow! How about checking out some recipes to get ready for harvesting your garden?