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Earth Week Day 2 - Starting a garden

Since World War I, when times have been hard and people need their money to stretch the furthest, one of the first things they are encouraged to do is grow their own food. You may have heard these types of gardens referenced as "Victory Gardens."


Humans have an innate ability to grow food. I, honestly believe, that anyone can do it! Some people know a little more about placement and plant needs, and how to listen to their plants, and how to utilize the land, and when is best to plant, and how much room they need, and how to protect them from bugs, etc.. But even the most experienced gardeners will tell you that they learn new things all the time. 


It would be impossible to share all the information we've gathered from our years of working the earth. So, we will share some of our favorite resources. At 12pm today we will be having a LIVE Q&A with some wonderful gardeners and you can ask your questions then, or reply to this email with them and we will try to get them answered and the video posted online later. We are also always available to answer your gardening questions. 


Some important things to consider are: 

- Your space for growing, the sun/shade/wind in that area

- What kinds of veggies you like to eat and want to grow

- Your soil & water source

- The amount of time & money you have to put into it


Once you have that: 

- How much space does each vegetable need to grow

- Look into companion planting & Succession planting

- Different spacing techniques to maximize your space (think vertical!)


Timingis also important: things like broccoli, cabbage, kale, beets, peas & radishes can already be seeded outside, they don't mind the cold. 

Tomatoes, Eggplants and Peppers need to wait - no matter how many nice days in a row we have, here in Minneapolis, we ALWAYS wait until the nighttime temps are consistently above 50 degrees (ie May 15th).

Cucumbers & Zucchinis need to wait until it's even warmer out! We don't normally plant them until June so they don't get stunted by the cold. 


Once you have your plan you can decide if you want to buy seedlings, seeds and/or start your own seeds indoors. Certain plants need to be started indoors for MN weather, others don't and don't like to be transplanted anyway. 

- Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers NEED to be started ahead of time

- Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale CAN be started ahead of time 

- Cucumbers, Melons, Squash CAN be started ahead of time, but they don't like their roots to be messed with for too long

- Carrots, Beets, Radishes, Beans, prefer to be sowed directly into the ground


SLP SEEDS currently has seeds for sale, and will have seedlings coming soon! 


If you want to try starting your own seeds indoors you can watch this video on how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtwXcaMnErM


Some of our other favorite online resources for more specifics are:


Minnesota State Horticultural Society has not only compiled this list of amazing resources but they are doing a 3 part FREE vegetable garden planning webinar series. You can find more information on their website at https://northerngardener.org/resource-hub/


https://extension.umn.edu/find-plants/vegetables


https://www.almanac.com/vegetable-gardening-for-beginners


And stay tuned to SLP SEEDS all season long for our new online educational series "This week in the garden" to see about the planting, pests, and maintenance happening in our gardens! 


What is Companion Planting!? 

Companion Planting is such a wonderful tool that can be used to maximize your space, keep your soil healthy, keep pests away and attract beneficial insects, and so much more. Here are some of our favorite resources you can learn from: 

https://www.growveg.com/guides/companion-planting-for-vegetable-gardens/  (check out their other pages about confusing pests with companion planting & why vegetables need friends) 

https://www.almanac.com/content/companion-planting-guide

https://waldenlabs.com/the-ultimate-companion-planting-guide-chart/




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