Growing organic vegetables from seeds

Finally, the weather is turning, and we've just about made it through another harsh winter here in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It's time to plant seeds for my organic vegetable garden! I'm keeping my garden small again this year. I have too much going on to plant a large garden like I had hoped. I'm going to do a small container garden again, using the organic seeds I saved from last year: roma tomatoes, black tomatoes, habaneros, sweet pepper, mixed baby salad greens and basil. One day, I'd love to grow squash, zucchini and watermelon, but I'm on the go too much at the moment to keep up with any additional plants.

I still consider myself a gardening novice, but I find that for the most part, it's simple to grow veggies. Just plant the seeds in good soil, and keep them watered and in sunlight. I love growing from seed. It's like you get to witness life coming into the world and then your babies grow up and you eat your babies! That's a little weird, maybe it's not the right metaphor.

I usually plant more seedlings than I'll need to allow for a few that don't spring to life. Last year, I had plenty of seedlings that turned into full plants. I am so excited to be using some of the stinky compost I've been mixing up all winter. I combined the compost with some potting soil and a tiny tad of organic blood meal. For the seedlings, I saved some containers from last year as well as reused some food containers, which I poked holes in the bottom of so they will drain. These little guys will go inside now to sit by the window for a few weeks. It's still a while yet until our final frost. On those occasional warm days we get, I'll let them sit outside some.

So here goes nothing! It takes months and months of patience (especially if you go organic and aren't using chemical fertilizers to speed things up). All the waiting and you really never know how it will pan out. We'll just have to be hopeful! Either way, planting your own garden makes you appreciate the work local farmers do to keep us enjoying produce all spring and summer. Drop me a comment, what are you planting this year?

Chel Rogerson