Tag Archives: growing your own food

Now Is the Time to Start Vegetable and Herb Seeds

Right now, it seems like almost everybody in America wants to grow vegetables and avoid trips to the supermarket. Besides, there’s nothing more delicious than a tomato freshly plucked from the vine or lettuce and herbs snipped from plants growing in containers on your deck.

However, seeds can be difficult to find. One supermarket trip you might want to take is to the Stop & Shop on Route 119 in Tarrytown (wearing your mask and gloves, of course), where there is an almost-full rack of Burpee seeds.

Of course, you can also buy from many online sources. The Etsy seller SeedGeeks, in St. Louis, MO, for example, is getting multiple rave reviews for their quality and reasonably fast shipping; they have 103 different types of vegetable seeds and 30 kinds of herb seeds. (Please buy only what you need; seeds are most viable the first year.)

This is an image from the SeedGeeks.com Etsy shop. You might need to do your own research online to find a seller who has what you want in stock and can ship it in a reasonable time.

Several weeks ago, Garden Club of Irvington Horticulture Co-Chair Renee Shamosh started her seeds in compartmentalized trays filled with seed-starting mix. When they were large enough to transplant she moved them into 3-inch pots.

But it’s definitely not too late for you to get started right now! In fact, some of our members have grown great gardens starting as late as Memorial Day weekend.

These heirloom tomato seedings were grown from seeds Renee saved from tomatoes she grew last year. Many varieties of tomatoes can be grown successfully from seeds. Check the package! And always follow package directions.

In a few weeks Renee’s seedlings will be potted up into these large fiberglas containers, now awaiting planting in her backyard.

These containers, approximately 16″ across and 18″ deep, are large enough for tomatoes, which will grow to 2 to 3 feet high, depending on the variety.

“You can start tomato seeds (or purchased seedlings) directly into pots like these,” Renee advises. “Make sure your pots have drainage holes. A layer of newspaper in the bottom keeps insects from crawling inside the hole. And a layer of pebbles helps with drainage, too.”

The container on the right, which is about 14″ square, is great for lettuce and radishes, which have shallow roots.

What are you going to plant this week or weekend?

“Shallower containers are fine for cool-weather crops like lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach,” Renee says. Why in containers and not in the ground? So they can be kept on a patio or deck, away from hungry squirrels and birds. However, if you have space directly in the ground that can be protected with fencing, go to it.

The square pot with the pebbles is now filled with regular potting mix to which seed-starting mix was added. Seeds of buttercrunch lettuce have been planted according to package directions.

Filed under Horticulture, Vegetable Gardening