Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All Your Seeds Germinated, Now What do You do?

It’s that time of the year when you begin planting your vegetable seeds. If you are like me then you start them indoors long before the outdoor temperatures are high enough to sustain any form of life, let alone plant life.

And because you start your seeds way in advance you want to make sure that you plant plenty of them to ensure that you will get many of them to germinate, yielding enough plants for the upcoming vegetable gardening season.

You get your starter pots ready, add in your potting soil of choice, take a pinch full of tomato seeds (about 10 per pinch) and add them. You then lightly cover with just a little more soil for good measure, and then place the final starters in your propagation dome. About a week later you check on your starters and uh oh, problem, all of the seeds germinated, now what? While I would not consider this a major problem, this can be a bit aggravating. Aggravating because you sit and wonder if you could have used less seeds to accomplish your original goal. You are now left with enough plants, once thinned out, to supply your neighborhood. So what do you do with them? I have offered up some suggestions below.

Plant Swaps
I am sure you have heard of seed swaps. They are events, even websites and Facebook pages where you meet up with other vegetable gardeners to, as you might guess, swap seeds. A plant swap works the same way, except most, if not all I know about, are done in person. You bring your extra plants as do others and you start trading. You can check for plant swaps in your area by doing a Google search as there are many clubs and organizations that partake in them. Plant swaps are growing in popularity, so keep an eye out for them.

Neighbors, Friends, Relatives
This is an obvious option, but one that is overlooked. I have a few neighbors that have really gotten into vegetable gardening and are just starting out, so I am able to pass along a few plants. You may be able to as well.

Community Gardens
These are becoming extremely popular in many areas of the world. Vacant pieces of land in many municipalities are being transformed into edible landscapes. Community gardens are a great source to donate or even sell your extra plants to. With so many gardeners in one place, you may be able to unload all of your extras.

Churches, Schools, Other Organizations
My son’s school has a great gardening program. His school has about a quarter acre of land set aside to grow many things. They have a butterfly garden, a lot of perennial flowers, as well as various raised beds for fruits and veggies. The idea is to get the students excited about gardening and teach them some things along the way. I have gotten to know the person that operates the gardening program and I know she is always looking for plants, seeds, potting soil etc, as their budget is limited. I am sure you have something similar in your area. Don’t be afraid to call around or even shoot off an email to your child’s school teacher, or to someone within any type of local organization (think Boy Scouts, 4-H, Girl Scouts etc.).

Don’t forget co-workers or given as special gifts. You can transplant them into bigger, inexpensive pots and offer them up for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so on.

While not everyone wants a full blown vegetable garden, by giving them just a single extra plant of yours, may be all the motivation they need to move into that direction.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the rest of us, the moderator for the largest vegetable gardening page on Facebook and creator of the monthly Seeds Club.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mike`s Seeds of the Month Club:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the suggestions! Every one of my cayenne pepper seeds sprouted...and we don't eat many! I was hoping for one or two plants and I now have many more. These suggestions are wonderful. Perhaps my mom will take some.