Starting Seeds for the Farmers’ Market Season

germination rack with seedlings growing

I think the thing I like as much as getting seed catalogs in the mail is to do all the garden planning and trying to figure the best methods for growing the best crops.

I spent the morning setting up my seedling flats and figuring out which seeds are best to start now for proper production timing for the farmer’s market season. I started things like scallions, leeks, romaine lettuce,  arugula and shallots. The allium crops need a long season to get to transplanting size plus the long season to grow till they are ready for harvest.

Several years ago I built an over sized germination rack in our living room that will hold 12 flats per level times 4. This allows for several different stages of the grow process from germinating the seeds, transplanting them into trays and then eventually hardening them off to plant them outside where they eventually grow to harvest.

Our production methods are certified organic which means that in order to plant organic starter seedlings, we have to start our own seeds. The biggest challenge I run into is determining the correct time to sow the seed so it can be transplanted at the right stage into the garden. From there the plant needs to grow long enough to be able to fruit and be ready for the Farmers’ Market season, which starts in May.

I like to try new methods of growing or maybe try a new crop that we haven’t grown before. This year, I will be growing Romaine head lettuce, shallots as well as sweet potatoes. Don’t worry, we’ll have all your favorites like tomatoes, leaf lettuce, peppers, carrots and beets as well. I just like to throw a few things in there that I’ve never tried before to keep the diversity in selection.

The first day of spring was Tuesday and we are well on our way to filling our gardens full so you can fill your baskets with nutrient dense vegetables for your health and palette pleasure.

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