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As soon as the holidays ended it started…the influx of seed catalogs!! It was also negative temperatures with hardly any sun as we were being bombarded to jump start our spring planting. But hey, its better than Christmas in July. This will be our third year with the garden and I feel pretty good about it. I think the last two seasons has taught us a lot about what we can, can’t and don’t want to do with our garden space.

The first season, we spent around $75 getting seeds shipped to us from these various catalogs with seeds arriving at the “prime” planting time for our zone. We read all the labels carefully and started some indoors and saved the rest for the spring fresh soil when it was their time. The indoor seed packs failed miserably. They grew about 2inches then shriveled up and died. The garden however, did fantastic!

The second season (last year), we decided to go with seeds from Menards and the local hardware store. They seemed to have a good variety and were a heck of a lot cheaper. Again, we started some indoors, while saving the rest for the soil outside. We ended up with the same results, shriveled seedlings and a thriving garden.

With the same results, I’m concluding, we just don’t have a great set up for starting seeds indoors and that the $1.99 seed packs from the hardware store are just as good as the $5.00 packs from the catalogs. I am a bit anxious to start seeds indoors this year since we’ve failed at it twice now and we will have a newborn to occupy a huge chunk of time mid to late April. I just can’t seem to figure out what we are doing wrong with the seeds. Too much water, too little water, too cold, not the right light…?  Does anyone have a good routine they use for getting seedlings to grow bigger than a spindly inch or two?

The first season we planted vines and they took over, they almost choked out our tomato plants and pretty well buried our pepper plants. So last year, we decided, no vines in the garden!! Seemed like a great idea, however, none of them turned out and we were pumpkin-less last year. We had put them just on the other side of the garden fence where they were much more vulnerable to critters (including chickens) and our handy dandy lawn mower (whoops). So this year, we will try planting vines back in the garden but very far away from all the other veggies!

We are also hoping to get more strawberries this year as we planted 30 some plants last Spring. We also planted a large quantity of asparagus last year that should be ready to harvest this year, which I’m beyond excited for! Tomatoes as usual, less pepper plants and more peas!! Gotta have more peas!!! I’m sure there will be more goals to come or more goals taken off the list depending on how baby raising goes this Spring!