Liz Cultivates: Spring 2023

New year, new garden, new veggies ready to be grown and eaten! I received all my seeds last week from Ohio Heirloom Seeds, and I’m so excited about this year’s crop.

Before I show you my seed haul, let’s talk about seedling setup. The year before last, the first year of my full garden bed, I was fortunate with growing my little seedlings. I had broccoli, loads of green beans, jalapeños, banana peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce. They all survived from seeds and it was so fulfilling seeing everything come up — I did that! I made that happen!

A grocery cart full of adolescent plants

Then, when I tried to do the same in 2022, I planted a few new things and waited patiently for them to sprout… and then they all died. Every single one of my sprouts didn’t make it. So I got some adolescent plants at the big box store and planted those in my garden.

This year, I want to make sure my seed babies survive. Not only because I want to prove that I can do it — but because I’m excited about the produce itself! I have big plans to learn how to can tomatoes this year. I want to never have to buy tomato paste again! Plus I want to make pickles. There is a lot of potential in this garden, and I’m excited to try it again.

And so, in service of actually getting it right this year, I made a few changes to my seed-starting setup.

I made this light-hanging fixture out of PVC, got some LED lights to tie to the pole, and invested in a boot mat that will hold all my seed starts and keep any water from leaking out and making a mess. My work friend also gave me a seed heating pad to put under these little guys to keep them warm. So they’re going to have light, and they’re going to be warm! Hopefully with these changes, they’ll have an easier time of germinating and growing strong roots.

I also invested in better seeds this year (thanks to Ohio Heirloom Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company) and am thinking about trying my hand at composting (we shall see about that one). I have big plans to dig out another garden spot in the back for pumpkins and other such squashes.

And this year, I also got some herbs to try my hand at growing and drying (in hopes of never having to buy Italian seasoning again!). Suffice to say: I actually needed better seed storage this year (rather than a plastic grocery bag). And so I went to my trusty local hardware and tools supplier and bought something that normal people probably use for nuts and bolts. This is what I came up with!

Happy gardening in 2023!


Published by Liz

I'm a writer living and working in Cincinnati, OH. I've been writing for ages and ages. Somehow now I'm actually getting someone to pay me to do it.

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