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Amateur At Work Here!

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  • Amateur At Work Here!

    okay, wife and have never planted garden and on a strange urge last weekend at the grociery store we bought a whole bunch of seeds for multiple vegetables, starter pots, soil and went to work. we have done little to no research and just decided it would be a fun sunday afternoon job. we planted 64 straters of multiple veggies including lettuce, pumpkin, watermelon, peas, green onions, walawala onions, beans, carrots, bell peppers, and so on. planted them at the depths the packages said to and at the spacing they suggested, watered them and put them next to our big bay window that gets the most sunlight. when i water them, sum of the seeds seem to be floating to the top so i quickly poke them back in with my big fat finger. any chance this is going to work? should i put the seeds deeper and not worry about what the packages say? any baic information for an amateur would be greatly appreciated.:question: thanks!:nyanya:


  • #2
    OMG!!! You are going to have greenbeans before it is time to put them in the garden..LOL The Peas will be growing up your window also. Probably wouldn't have done the carrots either, but hey, you may get a good salad before June 1 (that's when we put stuff in the garden here in Fairbanks), not sure when you guys in Anchorage do it. Sometimes middle of May here if the weather is real warm.

    For me, I start most of the greenbeans and the carrots right in the garden. Those don't necessarily need to be started indoors. The other stuff you should be ok with. THe lettuce may be a bit early also, just depends on it you planted it this early so you can start getting baby leaves off of it.

    Here's a link that may help on your seed starting timeline. Of course it can always be altered to fit your needs and wants.

    Good luck with your gardening.


    • #3
      As Huntress noted, you're probably a bit early on your starts. The problem with starting them too early is that they will become root-bound if they're in pots too long and will end up being less productive. At this point you're only out the cost of a few seed packets. If it were me, I'd pull those seeds and re-start them in a few weeks. Jeff Lowenfels writes a weekly gardening column for the ADN, and as part of that column he has a gardening calendar that suggests when to start various veggies and flowers. This week he is suggesting starting celery and leeks, but most everything else shouldn't be planted yet. I went by his recommendations last year and it worked out perfectly. (Actually, I went about five days after his suggestions, as I live at about 1,300' and have a bit cooler nights) Last year was my first year gardening and it was far more successful than I anticipated. Go by suggestions from local gardeners and you should be golden. Good luck!


      • #4
        It's typical for seeds to float to the top if the dirt hasn't set. Were you just using dry bag dirt? Most likely it was more like dry dust than mud. The first time you put water into that dirt it's going to dissipate and allow the seed to surface. Just push the seed down (as you did) and lightly pat the dirt around it. Make sure you have proper drainage, this will allow the dirt to set easier. Within the next two times of watering the seed shouldn't surface again. I think the other two covered the rest. Good luck with everything! You're wife and you are going to have quite a magnificant garden this summer if you work at it! This is my first time gardening in Alaska as well, actually my first summer in Alaska period. Hopefully we both can have fun stocking up for the winter
        Lone Alaskan Gypsy
        Lover of arctic fox and northern lights.
        Reader of arctic runes. Alaskan storyteller. Handcrafted trinket trader. Grower of organic plants.
        Find me online at and at fairs, markets, and festivals around AK.


        • #5
          Thanks to all....great advice. I was surprised to see the veggies popping up this week before we had a chance to pull them out this weekend. Fun experiment and looking forward to a great summer. TGJ


          • #6
            The only advice I'd add to what you already have is to go over to the UAA campus, find the Extension office, get some of their free brochures/pamphlets on Gardening in Alaska.../John


            • #7
              The Extension office is next door to the senior center in Palmer on south Chugach St.


              • #8
                You can download many of the UAA Extension publication online

                Have fun with the garden. As other of noted you may be a bit early with some of your seeds. Something you might consider is to plant some of them in large containers. You could use anything from 5 gallon buckets to large fancy planters from the garden center. Some of the warmer loving plants actually do better in containers here. The only tomatoes I had ripen last year were those in container on my deck. The garden tomatoes never got beyond small green fruits.

                I'm going to do most of my tomatoes and even try some peppers in containers this year. I'm planning to build some rolling bases (Just some wood squares with caster wheels bolted on for me) but you could buy them already made and fancier as well. That way I can get the plants into their larger containers earlier so they won't get root bound. I'm putting mine on wheels so I can take them outside during the day but wheel them back inside at night while there is still a danger of frost. I'm hoping this will give the plants a nice start on the season and increase my odds of getting a nice harvest. The only other seeds I've started is some leeks and a few herbs (which I also plan to grew in containers) and a half tray of leaf lettuce mix. The lettuce I'm planning to eat as baby greens so they'll never see the garden. I'll plant more lettuce for outside later. I just couldn't resist starting some to have a fresh baby greens salad before the garden gets going.


                • #9
                  I started some of my plants in Feb and they have been just fine. Even started my salad bowl( lettuce and spinach) back then, just so I could have my own. For your first time just enjoy the learning and the eats later. For the rest of your plants, when they slow down growing just check if there root bound, if so transplant. The peas and carrots will need trans planting quite often but oh well. I plant the seeds in the garden around May or June(depends on weather) Don't worry about how many seeds to plant, I always start to many and every once and a while I get alot of veggies to eat. TGJ enjoy your first year


                  • #10
                    Thanks EB. Our beans are about 8" high now and the rest, with the exception of the watermelon and the pumpkin, are comming along nice. It is a strange feeling of enjoyment when we get home from work and see how much thay have grown. Not sure how it's all going to work out just yet, but fun none the less. I appreciate the words of encouragment. We have lots of moose in our backyard and I am considering using the enclosed dog kennel to plant the garden when it warms up. I was thinking of using multiple 5 gallon buckets to plant them in. My landlord tells me that the backyard soil is the pits and that it will be hard to make anything grow. Hence the raised planter idea of buckets. Any thoughts on that silly idea?



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