On Saturday, I took another one of those wonderful classes from the Duval County Extension Office in preparation for my Spring 2012 veggie garden. You can purchase starter plants from the plant nursery but you will be limited to their selections. To have a wider choice of varieties, you must grow your own starter plants from seed (except for those varieties that must be sown directly in the soil).
After listening to the lecture, we were dispatched to tables where we were each given seed starter trays, several varieties of seeds, plastic plant markers, even a plastic glove for the chicken-livered. Imagine that when it was perfectly clean dirt from a freshly opened bag. Nary a bug in sight.
Our seed starter trays held fifty individual seed cells. Into those we planted three types of eggplant, two types of peppers, and five types of tomato seeds. For good measure, we were given extra little baggies holding beans, cucumber, and squash seeds.
Frugal Gardening Ideas
Of particular interest to me were several money-saving ideas. We were shown a grow light contraption made from PVC pipe with a fluorescent light fixture dangling from it. Better still, we were given a one-page material list with photo of the PVC pipe contraption so we could build our own. On another table next to the grow light, was a spray bottle filled with liquid fertilizer — the kind of fertilizer I always call “blue water” — and a plastic, liquid dishwashing bottle with single squeeze spout filled with blue water. Again, the obvious is never obvious to me and the likelihood of me ever thinking to store blue water in spray or squeeze bottles would have been slim to none.
Demos were given on how to make individual seed starter pots from newspaper or the center cardboard from paper towel rolls. Their plastic plant markers were commercial but you can make your own tags by cutting up old bleach jugs and using a permanent marker, such as a Sharpie, for labeling.
Don’t Miss Out
These classes are a lot of fun because we always seem to have some sort of make-and-take project after the classroom instruction. Call 904-255-7450 and sign up today for the following two garden classes coming up next month:
On Saturday, February 11, they are offering a food demo and sampling using seasonal produce and more info on growing warm season vegetables.
On Saturday, February 25 from 9 am to 2:30 pm they are offering A Day of Gardening with lots of speakers and vendors not to mention your choice of three workshops in both the morning and afternoon. The day is so cram packed I can’t figure out when we are supposed to be able to visit the vendors.