. We developed a method of gardening that is cheap and effective. If you have the internet, for about $50, you can buy supplies that will generate crops and food for you, your family, and friends for a lifetime.
Last year, we went hard on sprouting and growing. I modified the methods used in Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening by Peter Burke for soil sprouted microgreens slightly to allow for better garden planting. Basically, Peter Burke is concerned with micro green salads, but they are too much work. I’m not really even that into salads. Give me the vegetables!! So I thought, “how can I turn micro greens into garden plants?” It’s hard to harden plants in non draining trays (too wet or too dry leads to quick sprout death). To harden you need water and direct sunlight, so I came up with a method where you can sprout in draining trays that can become self-watering. These are the ingredients/supplies that are needed for this recipe/method:
2) Michigan Peat 5240 Garden Magic Compost and Manure, 40-Pound from Amazon.com. Next season, I intend to use Fox Farm Happy Frog potting soil.
3) Heavy duty spray bottle for watering. Second bottle if you use optional liquid seaweed.
4) Old newspaper or weekly paper ads.
5) Seeds. I prefer American seeds. I like True Leaf, Botanical Interests, Seeds Now, Gurneys, Baker Creek, and Territoral Seed Companies.
6) Full-size Deep Steam Table/Roaster Disposable Aluminum Pan (Approximately 20.75 x 12.75 x 3.375). Usually much cheaper at your local store, around 99 cents each.
1) Peter Burke suggests liquid seaweed, I got Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed off Amazon.com and it works great. However, sometimes it encourages mold and is more harmful than helpful.
2) Fox Farm Concentrate Fertilizers. Currently, I use SOIL feeding schedule and fertilizers, but next year I plan to test using only organic concentrates on the Happy Frog feeding schedule.
3) Seeding Heat Mat. The results are noticeable, increased germination.
4) Popsicle sticks (do not get colored (pictured), they bleed) or plastic plant tags with sharpie pen.
1) Soak seeds twenty-four (24) hours (I do blends, my garden blends all have herbs mixed in that keep pests out, helping me go organic). Wiki has a decent list of pest preventing plants, I would add arugula to the list and say that arugula, basil, chamomile, coriander (cilantro), dill, fennel, nasturtium, oregano, onion, and thyme are my favorites, they all come with great edible flowers and, if used in moderation, do not get so large as to overcrowd your primary crop. Nasturtium is my absolute favorite, prolific in both the winter and summer seasons and it tastes spicy like a radish.
Know that arugula is most likely to dominate your garden, it is prolific and has a summer and winter life cycle giving you two harvest a year. Our arugula is taking over our lawn, so when we mow now, it smells like fresh arugula, we enjoy it. I also like Calendula and Dianthus as only edible flowers because they are prolific all seasons and Zinnia in the summer.
2) Prepare 3.5 inch pots by adding dry compost soil 80% to 90% full.
3) Drain seeds (I usually just place my finger on edge of cup so only tiny crack allows water out, then I drain almost all of water).
4) Sprinkle seeds evenly on top on soil in pots.
5) Use one pot to gently press the top of soil in pots down, forcing the seeds into soil (helps root growth). Bigger seeds (Peas, beans, squash, corn, and melon) should have a thin layer of soil placed over them followed with pressing soil down and more sprayed water.
6) Spray liquid seaweed One (1) squirt if you are using it, then spray water until top layer of soil saturated (five (5) to ten (10) squirts or you can use a hose for a couple seconds on spray). You have to be extra cautious of over watering in winter months.
7) Cut newspaper material into squares just larger than 3.5 inches squared (top of 3.5 inch pots (approximately 4 inches). Wet with water, and gently push down on paper until it touches the soil.
Don't buy food, grow food, it's the cheapest organic on the market.
With the internet, you can grow more stuff than is available at your nursery.
“We love to grow and eat things in our garden.”
Rodney, Lisa, and Lucy
Time until we can soak our seeds for