Hi Amanda. I am in a similar situation, starting from scratch. My question is where do I find organic seedlings? I have never seen any at our local stores. Can I just buy any plant and raise them organic? As for your questions I believe that your local store would be able to help you with planting times and I'm pretty sure that they would only sell plants that will do well in your area. Good luck-Toni
Hi Amanda - you need to figure out what zone you are in first. Go to this website: http://www.garden.org/zipzone/ and type in your zipcode. That will give you a zone number. Mine is Zone 5b (Kansas). When you are looking at seed catalogs or seed packets, most will say "suitable for zones ___ ". That's how you know what plants are good for your area.
Spring crops like lettuce, spinach, onions, peas and greens can be planted before the frost free date. Those plants are hardy enough to withstand a light frost.
Other veggies like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, melons, etc. need to be planted outside after the frost free date.
In addition tomatoes and peppers should be started from seeds indoors and then transplanted into your garden after the frost free date. Peppers should be started about 8 weeks before the frost free date and tomatoes should be started at least 6 weeks before the frost free date.
Also, try to find out online if you have a nursery in your area that specializes in organic gardening and native plants. (read: not lowe's or home depot unless these are your only options) In Houston we have one or two that carry only organic and or local seeds and plants. The workers there are also more knowledgable and helpful than at a typical nursery where they are only expected to water the plants and work a register. Raised beds are definitely are great way to start because you can fill them with good soil from the start instead of having to amend the soil in your yard. Once you get a composter started, you can seasonally enrich your beds to keep them full of great growing energy. Happy worms and bugs make happy gardens! ;o) There are several online compost sites that sell good composters and starter kits with good info too. They also sell nifty things like compostable bags (good for kitchen scraps). Often, things that we eat together grow well together- think tomatoes, garlic, and basil or roses and mint. Happy digging! xoxoxo
WOW~ Thanks everyone for the great info, I feel more well prepared now. I have a question about something I did though.... I re-used baby wipe continers to grow chives and green onions near my window.... is this going to CONTAMINATE my food? I know I should've thought of this before they started sprouting up, but I figured I would ask before I eat them!!! It just feels good to "grow" something without killing it (yet)..........
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