Sow Far, Sow Good

This weather has us itching to get out into the garden — our back yard is already raked and cleaned, which is unheard of for March. But we do live in Maine, which means anything can happen between now and May, so we're content to look at seed catalogs and gear up for seed starting.

Now, everyone thinks seed starting is a piece of cake: Just throw some soil and a few seeds in a yogurt container, water and stick on the windowsill, right? Um, wrong. In the six years that we've been gardening, we've wasted countless hours, seeds and flats full of soil by doing the whole thing wrong.

Thanks to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, it's easy to do it right. And unlike other guides, they tell you how to start seeds in Maine, which is a lot different from starting them in Georgia. From the look of it, fluorescent lights are key. Yes, it may look like you're growing pot in your house when your friends drive by at night. But the payoff is worth it — compact, hardy seedlings that rival what you'll find at your local greenhouse. For way less money.

It's a good idea to start with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension's flyer on seed starting. You can also watch a video by Extension educator Frank Wertheim about building your own seed starting bench.

For a list of our favorite Maine seed sources, click here.

This should keep you occupied until May, and if it doesn't, let us know — there's more raking to be done in our front yard.

Image credit: courtesy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension.


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