A hint of spring in the air.

If you live somewhere with winter, then you know the feeling of spring when it finally seems close! The warm sun, the huge puddles from melting snow, and the freeing feeling of wearing a vest or just a sweater outside instead of all the winter layers. We have had a few of those days this week!

It makes me so excited for spring!!

One of the things I’ve started over the last few years is planning and planting some seedlings inside. I do mostly container gardening because, in my simple mind, it seems easier than digging up the yard and making planter boxes etc.

I now have a ton of different seeds, but my favourite, and most successful planting has been with tomatoes, squash, potatoes and herbs. Last year I had no luck with my bell peppers, but this year they seem to be thriving so I am super excited!

I have my seeds organized by keeping them in little envelopes (for the seeds I have harvested), and in the store bought packages. I then keep them all together in a small container which I generally keep in the pantry. I love having a pen or marker right in the bin with the seeds and spare envelopes so that I can write on the envelopes right away.

Yet again, always labelling!

I also stay organized with when to plant the seeds (based on my climate and seasons) by labelling the envelope with when to plant them. I keep it a little bit vague because sometimes January is just too busy! When I have a longer timeline, I know I can still be successful with my seeds even if it goes a little later. It’s all about creating forgiveness for your self if WHEN life gets busy!

We have a Keurig coffee maker, so this year I decided to take the time to clean them out and use them for some of my transplanting. I can’t believe I didn’t take the time to do this sooner. I mean it’s the perfect little container, and it even has a hole in the bottom already!! I do love the little jiffy pots, and I usually start my seedlings in them because they retain moisture on the outside, but once the plant has started and has opened, the Keurig cups are even better!

I have a window in our dining room that gets the morning sun and then gets ambient light throughout the rest of the day. So when I start my seeds I bring up a folding table and put it right beside the window. It has been working for a few years now, so I haven’t messed with my system too much. I have been thinking of changing it to a resin shelf, but in time! I also don’t have any grow lights or heat mats, though if I had them I could avoid cluttering up the dining room and setting it all up somewhere else in the house.

Like I said before, I use containers for my gardening. I like the flexibility to either garden or not, and not maintain a large area of the yard to do so. You can do whatever works for you. I use some big bins that I got from the dollar store, lined them with landscape fabric to keep the soil in, then added my soil. Once my plants are established enough I move them to the containers. Then on hot days I can easily bring the containers in and out to get the plants good and strong for the true growing season. When it’s finally true spring, I move the containers outside!

The thing I love best about growing my own produce, other than the obvious cost savings, is the personal satisfaction of nurturing a tiny seed into a bounty filled plant! I also love that my kids are really excited about it too. They consistently tell me that our home grown cucumbers are the best they’ve ever had, even though my best yield was only 3 small ones!! I was able to make 6 meals worth of spaghetti sauce and a lot of salsa with my tomato yield last year, I even kept some of the tomatoes green and made salsa verde!

Gardening is not for everyone, especially if you don’t have a lot of room, but maybe container gardening will be for you! I even did it on a balcony in an apartment a long time ago! It’s so worth it!

Happy spring!

Thanks for coming home!

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