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Starting Your 2022 Garden
It is that time of year when you should be starting your seedlings for your 2022 garden (if you have not already).
This year I am excited about the additional garden in my backyard that will double my garden space.
We are in the middle of another “winter freeze” (schools are cancelled because of icy roads), but that won’t dampen my excitement, or action in preparing the garden.
Before the latest freeze hit, I managed to get the old garden and the new space tilled up – a preliminary tilling. I will need to go back over them before planting, but this first tilling was able to break up the clay-like dirt we have in this region of Texas, it also ripped up the roots of the dead grass in the new garden plot and exposed them to the freezing temperatures this week so hopefully I won’t see grass trying to grow in the new garden.
Last Thursday I started my seedlings. It was a little later than usual, but like I said, winter is trying desperately to cling to North Texas, so my planting days may be pushed back a little, so it will all be awash in the end.
As of yesterday, I was excited to see that I had lettuce, cabbage, pea, and Swiss Chard sprouts.
When I started my seedlings, I used empty toilet paper rolls to make containers. I then filled them with Miracle-Gro potting soil and various seed (various as in one kind in each roll). I made sure to top the seeds off with a little more dirt and then tamped down the dirt on the seeds to ensure good contact. I then watered them in and placed them in the window that gets the most sunlight throughout the day.
Here is a short video of how I turned the toilet paper tubes into seedling containers:
The great thing about using the cardboard rolls from toilet paper is that they are biodegradable…I don’t even have to pop the seedlings out of the container when I plant them. Depending on what veggie I am sticking in the ground, I might remove the cardboard to tease the roots. If I do that, the design of these toilet paper rolls will make it easy to peel them off (especially after they have been soaking up and retaining water until transplanting time).
The last thing I have been working on as I gear up for gardening season/Spring is plotting out where things will go. Not that I have two inground gardens I have more extensive planning to do.
My old garden plot gets partial sun throughout the day (about 6 hours), and my new plot will get more sun (8+ hours each day). I started by sorting through the seeds I have. (A great selection of seeds can be found here.) I then sorted them into which garden bed they will go in, using this old farmer’s saying:
“If you grow it for the fruit or the root, you need full sun.
If you grow it for the leaves, partial shade is all you need.”
Then I began my research into companion planting…
Some plants get along better with others. Some share symbiotic benefits with others (one repels bugs that love the other, etc).
I made up some notecard for myself. I have been using the details on who loves who and who hates who to plan out my gardens.
I have typed them up and made a three-page Companion Planting Guide PDF you can download below to help you plan your garden too. I have notes for the vegetables I am planting this year, if you are planting things that I don’t have listed, you can either draw your own conclusions from similar/listed veggies, or you can look up that specific plant. Pinterest is a great resource, as well as the 2022 Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Until transplanting/planting season, happy sprouting!