Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seeds of Change.....Gardening From Direct Sown Seed

MrMartha has been thinking about what to do with the garden this summer. With less than a year in the new house, and having spent most of that (so far) concentrating on the interiors, very little has happened with the exterior landscape. Rather than putting a large investment into big shurbs, trees, and pricey perennials, MrMartha is planning to watch the landscape for a full summer, and then start to determine what the major changes and significant plantings should be.

For this interim summer, however, MrMartha is going to experiment with all kinds of plants from seed.

There are several borders and perimeter areas of the current landscaping that were cleaned out and groomed, but then never replanted. As MrMartha didn't move into the house till July, most of last summer saw those beds lie fallow and dusty....but this year, MrMartha is going to use them as a grand experiment of growing flowers and vegetables from seed sown directly into the ground.

MrMartha was always a bit afraid of seeds....preferring to start with seedlings in ponypacks or flats, and transplanting them into the garden. That will still be the case for tomato plants, but everything else will be direct seeded this year. MrMartha discovered some coupons that allowed him to acquire a large quantity of seeds for next to nothing. (A Walgreens coupon offered 5 seed packs for a dollar, and local FredMeyer Garden Center has seed packets at 50% off through March) the great seed experiment commences....

ReadMore to find out what MrMartha's plans are.....

For flowers, MrMartha is going to use a warm intense palette of reds and oranges, with yellow and even some magenta for accent. Tall Zinnias, bright Cosmos, and the lesser known Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) all come easily from seed, and will be massed together in what will hopefully be a big profusion of blooms.

Vegetables and herbs, including Dill, Chard, and Squash will be mixed in with the flowers. Pickling Cucumbers, Beets, Radishes, Beans and Lettuce will be grown in areas that are less focal in the landscape.

Basil and tomatoes will be grown in large pots on the deck where they thrived after first moving in last summer. Marigolds and Coleus will be grown in pots as well.

MrMartha will be reporting regularly, so keep checking back to see how this grand experiment works out.....he has already started to amend the planting beds with bags of compost and manure, and will begin planting with Chard and Beets this weekend. Coleus seeds will also be started indoors in the next few days.

MrMartha has also received some wonderful gardening questions from blog readers and will be answering those over the next few weeks as well!