Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seed starting and garden bed preparation

 Starting seeds for the 2013 garden

There has been a very cool start to spring for us in the Washington, DC area.  It's been a challenge to get garden preparations completed between the slushy snow and chilly, rainy weather.  I have been doing some planning, ordering seeds, and prep work for weeks in anticipation of warm weather.  To help with keeping things organized and on schedule, I use both Spout Robot, an online planting application and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Planting Guide (check online for a similar guide for your local area).  A local garden center, Behnkhe's Nursery, provides a monthly to-do list of garden chores for outdoor plants.  Here's a link to that March To-Do List for the Garden which has helped me get everything ready for when the warm weather does decide to come and stay.

I attended Rooting DC a free all-day gardening forum with a keynote speaker from the USDA, vendors and workshops covering topics from building beds, soil remediation, mushroom cultivation and just about every other garden related topic you could imagine with master gardeners available to answer any questions anyone might have.  I particularly enjoyed the irrigation system workshop had us working in groups to build a sample system and touring the newly installed greenhouse of Woodrow Wilson High School in DC which hosted the event.  If you are in the DC area, I would highly recommend this forum for next year.

Here are photos from the last couple of weeks' prep work.

Log inoculated with Shiitake mushroom spores - the first harvest will hopefully be in about 12-18 months


Leeks, garlic and onion that grew under cover over winter and winter arugula remaining in a bed prepped for this year

Some of the last harvest from the winter garden before prepping the beds for this year

I am looking forward to an exciting 2013 growing season.  Are you planning any garden adventures for this year?

Thanks for reading!
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Winter salad greens and broccoli


  1. It is really inspiring to see how all of your small actions add up to a huge benefit for you and the environment.

    1. It is amazing to see how a tiny idea of planting a few tomatoes and peppers turned into an ongoing endeavor that is fulfilling in so many ways - from being more connected with the earth, the rhythm of the seasons and climate and with my neighbors as they walk by as I work. Thanks for sharing in the adventure.