My garden before planting the flowers on October 10, 2009.
Make sure to always thoroughly read and follow your packs and starter labels. VERY IMPORTANT!! I know that sounds like a given, but I'll admit that the first 3 years (at least) that I gardened, I would only look at what kind of sun the plant needed and left it at that. When working with seeds, it is most important to follow all information for best results. I also keep mine for the entire season, to refer back to.
You can soak your Sweet Pea seeds in a bowl of water24 hours before, but it is not necessary. I mixed all the different types of Sweet Peas in my bucket, to assure a true variety when planting. I then used my finger to determine 1" of seed depth and pressed my finger firmly in the soil, creating multiple holes, 1" deep. I've found, the larger the seed, the easier to sprout. Sweet Pea seeds are a medium size, therefore it is fairly easy to grow from seed. I plan on thinning out my sprouts when they are 6" (optimum time according to the package), so I'm not too worried about my seed spacing.
After arriving to my garden, I quickly looked at the sun exposure and the time. At 2pm, my left side is already shaded, whereas my right side still has full sun. Unfortunately, my plan to mix Snap Dragons and Stalks will not work, because Stalks need full sun and Snap Dragons need full to partial. Because Snap Dragons are successful with partial sun, I chose to use them on my left side. I also thought about my Broccoli placement, as well as other plants that I am wanting to plant later this week (my leafy greens, roots and fruits). Broccoli is most successful with full sun, so I decided to plant it at the back end of my right bed.
With the plant placement of my Stalks, I tried to give about 9" across between each plant, however the diagonal holes are about 3". NOTE: This may be a concern later. I might have to spread them out by transplanting some of them later. Also, my boarder plant placement is way too close! Once I harvest my marigolds in a month, I will then spread out and transplant many of my Stalks. I've never grown Stalks before and I have two different varieties.
After reading about a more successful root system by following a Biodynamic calendar, I thought it would be interesting to document the root system of my Snap Dragon and Broccoli during planting and then again during harvest time.
When digging, I use a shovel first and then always play with the depth of my hole with my hand. I have never wore gloves when gardening and I don't think I ever will. So much of the process is about getting down and dirty with Mother Earth.
My Broccoli spacing, three pictures below, is about a foot. VERY IMPORTANT for this flowering veggie to have enough room. They grow fairly large. NOTE: I have a concern with the Broccoli spacing of the two front plants in relation to the Stalk boarder. May not be enough room either. May need to be transplanted.
Your watering technique, especially at the beginning of your season, with seeds and starters is SO IMPORTANT!! Above I have photographed how I water my flowers and flowering veggie. Try to avoid wetting the flower peddles and leaves as much as possible and also use a low water pressure. I really like using a hose nozzle, like you see here, where it almost emanates a shower of rain. I feel this has been more successful with my plants than just the regular hose nozzle.
Also, the constancy of watering is extremely important. In fact, their are some diseases that your plants can get, if you don't have a steady and constant watering routine. In the summer, with new seeds and starters, I water every 2 days. But in the winter months, we do get some rain, and so you have to equate that into your picture. Also, their is less daylight time, so you may be able to stretch it to every 3 days at the beginning. And I would suggest watering in the morning before noon, especially in the winter. In the summer, you can water in the morning before noon or after 5pm.
My completed beds with all flower seeds and starters in. Wish me luck!!
Below, the view of my garden from the street.