Saturday, April 24, 2010

Herbal Gardening, Part 2

Herbal Gardening, Part 2

A Master Gardeners (MG) demonstration inspired us to try container gardening, beginning with starting plants from seed indoors.

The MG endorsed starting from seed for two major reasons.

1. It offers an easy way to grow a wide variety of plants. The plant nursery or gardening shops can only stock a limited variety of plants, and it seems that all the stores offer the same choices. With seeds, there is practically no limit to the choices.

2. Gardens can get an early start, even in regions with shorter growing seasons. This seems important for our northeastern Oregon region...it's still dropping down to freezing temperatures, so we dare not plant outdoors, except for a few cold-hardy plants. (The MG mentioned carrots as being especially cold-hardy.)

We came home from the demonstration with some basic supplies:

  • Instructions
  • Biodegradable starting pots
  • Tomato seedlings
  • Seeds

We have planting mix left over from last year's dismal attempt at container gardening. We'll have to add some kind of fertilizer.

We're also trying to decide what kind of containers to use. We could find discarded five-gallon plastic buckets. We have two small tubs, about 18-inches wide, 12" high...we're thinking they might be too small.

Another option is building a larger container, four-feet square. Not sure where to put a large container...we are renting our house, and have to consider what the owner allows.

One strong possibility is Square Foot Gardening. This method claims to have some major advantages:

  • User Friendly - Great for beginners
  • Locate Anywhere - Close to your house
  • Economical - Reduces everything 5 to 1
  • Efficient - 100% of the crop in 20% of the space
  • Easy to Protect - From pests and weather
  • Earth Friendly - Reduce Reuse Recycle
  • Very Productive - Just as much as you need

But all that will come later...right now we'll get ready to plant the seeds indoors and raise some seedlings.