What Youll

Your last task is to estimate the quantities of seed or transplants you'll need for the season. Do you plan to purchase transplants from a local nursery? Do you want the nursery to order any special varieties for you?

Unless you're planning an extremely large garden, it won't pay you to buy the jumbo packets of seeds the first year. If you buy too many at once, you may wind up with enough to last for several years. You may also want to change varieties after the first year, or the seed companies may come out with a variety more suited to your needs, and you'll want to try those seeds instead of the ones you saved.

If you do have seeds left over — and they test for viability — there's no reason why you shouldn't use them. Test them as explained here. If the germination rate has dropped to 50 percent, you have to double the number of seeds that you plant. Often the older seeds take longer to sprout, so you have to give them a little extra time. But since square foot gardening uses a controlled method of plant— ing very few seeds, you should have no problem.

Finally, on the choice of seeds, use only the best varieties, and seeds you're sure are viable. Don't economize foolishly where your business is concerned.

A final suggestion: show your neatly finished charts to someone else — your spouse, a neighbor, or a gardening friend. You might even take them to your buyer. The purpose of this is tosee if they can be understood, and to generate suggestions. Quite often we get so close to something that we're working on that we forget some of the obvious things.

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