Get some seeds
Now that you have all the containers and newspapers needed for starting your own plants, you have to purchase some seeds. There are a couple of really good sources for organic seeds. If you have never tried heirloom varieties, it would be a real treat for you to purchase at least one variety and experience the flavor and intensity of a “real” tomato. If you have never ordered seed before you need to know a few things. 1. North Dakota is mostly Zone 3 and 4 according to the hardiness map. This information can be found in seed catalogs or on the back of the package when shopping at your local farm store. Hardiness zones identify varieties bred to thrive in a certain climate. North Dakota also has a short growing season. Select vegetable varieties maturing in less than 90 days (80 is better unless you have a hoop house or a greenhouse.) 2. Certain cool weather crops can be seeded directly into the ground in early April. Radishes, lettuces, spinach, carrots, peas and beets are a few of those crops. 3. You will want to start tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and some herbs in the middle to late part of March. 4. Cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli can be started indoors two weeks before you can plant them outdoors. Keep in mind they like cool weather also so you can plant them earlier than warm-loving crops. Remember to plan your garden first and then seed shop. You need to remember that plants need room. A simple notebook and pencil are valuable tools for gardeners. Not only can you record when you start your bedding plants, but you can also record when you plant, where you plant, what you plant and the weather. It’s easy to get carried away buying plants and seeds you will never have room for. While it’s nice to experiment with new varieties of vegetables, you should be growing food your family will like to eat also. So get those pencils sharpened and make a plan, next time we’ll discuss how to grow healthy bedding plants in those paper pots with your new heirloom variety seeds. If you like to window shop – check out this brand new local seed company: http://www.prairieroadorganic.co/ as well as Territorial Seeds, Baker Creek Organics, Abundant Life, RH Shumway and Totally Tomatoes.
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