Monday, March 2, 2009

The Growing Challenge - From Seed to Seed

While following links recently, I came across a site called One Green Generation. I remember seeing badges for The Growing Challenge in other bloggers' sidebars last year and visiting the site. With no place to plant veggies, I sighed and moved on.

I'm glad I ran into it again, perused the site, and came across The Growing Challenge - From Seed to Seed . It's a ramped up version of the Growing Challenge, which encourages gardeners to grow food from seed. Gardeners can participate in either challenge. The former includes saving seeds from the garden for planting the following year.

Last fall I built a raised bed in our sunny side yard and filled it lasagna-style, leaving it to rest and do its microbial thing over the winter. The reason for the bed is to once again be able to grow some vegetables, something I've been doing since the age of ten and have missed tremendously the past five years.

I decided it would be fun to join The Growing Challenge, and will post about my adventures (and misadventures!) in veggie gardening at least weekly during the growing season. I'll be collecting some of the seeds from the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor, and you'll be hearing about that here too.

I want to encourage anyone who is growing vegetables to visit One Green Generation, check out the two challenges, and consider joining the fun!


  1. Linda ... this will be something I want to keep an eye on and how you do girl !
    I am not one for veggies (and they thank me for that I think) .. but herbs are a must for me.
    So .. I will have to enjoy your adventure with this and see how amazing it will be to watch unfold ? : )

  2. Hi Linda, This does sound like a fun challenge...and it's terrific that you are growing vegetables again! They do taste better then the ones from the grocery store!

    When someone says garden to me I always see flowers, but most folks around here assume vegetables. This is the year I decided to introduce them to the beds! Let's see if they will thrive here.
    Thanks for the links to the Challenge sites!


  3. Anonymous7:59 AM

    What a fun challenge! I hope you share the journey with us on your blog. :)

  4. Joy, it's been so long, I wonder if I can still grow veggies! I hope all the good stuff in the new bed has done its thing over the winter and will be ready to plant this spring. This is my first attempt at a lasagna-style bed. I'm very curious about how well it will work.

    Good morning Gail, I think it will be fun, and am SO excited about my tiny veggie bed!

    At my last house the veggies mingled with the flowers and were happy and productive. I hope you enjoy similar success with your veggies!

    Hi Racquel, I plan to post regularly on my veggie bed adventures. I'm sure there will be some misaventures too - this will be a learning experience for me.

  5. This is a great idea. There are different tricks and tips for collecting and saving veggie seeds, we'll all be the wiser for sharing our successes. Saved tomato seeds for the first time 2 years ago - who knew you had to let them ferment for a couple of days in a jar of water before drying them? Looked weird, smelled not so good, but it worked.

  6. Hmm,lasagna gardening..I'm hungry'm going to have to go searching in your archives to see what that means! Does that mean you'll be planting peppers, tomatoes and basil? HH built me three "veg" beds but the daylilies have taken over the beds last fall (my new mail orders) so I have double the work to move them out before putting in veggies this year. I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress..good luck!

  7. Hi Barbara, I probably won't try to collect seed from everything I grow - some seeds are easier than others to collect and save of course.

    I've already learned something from you - I didn't know that about tomato seeds. I've had them self-sow in the garden many times, maybe because they'd already had their fermentation time inside the fallen tomatoes they came from!

    Hi Lynn, I will have tomatoes, peppers, and basil, but in this case lasagna gardening has a different meaning. Think of how lasagna is layered - lasagna gardening is building a bed out of layers of organic material. My new bed is raised, and filled with alternating layers of shredded leaves mixed with grass clippings, and all different kinds of compost. I've got mushroom compost, several kinds of composted manure, organic humus, and some homemade compost comprising the layers. I started the bed last fall, and by spring, according to what I've learned, it should be ready for planting. That's a lasagna garden in a nutshell!

    It's supposed to be very fertile and rich so it can be planted more densely - a plus in a small space. It should be moisture-retentive and need less irrigation than average garden soil.

    I'm also hoping being raised it won't have quite as many critter visits and damage, but I'm not counting it - that hope might be more fantasy than reality!

  8. I, too, will be growing a lot more veggies this year--it will be fun to compare vegtastic notes! (Hmmm, that's what I could call my weekly updates!) :)

  9. Hi Monica, it will be fun to compare notes! I suspect my new bed is quite a bit smaller than your veggie plot.

    Sounds like a good name for your weekly updates!

  10. Hi Linda, this is great. I started to seriously grow food last year in a dedicated space and was so pleased with the results. This year even more space will be given and veggies will be worked into the ornamental beds too. It is the wave of the future. I look forward to watching the progress of your new raised bed. Yum.

  11. Good morning Frances! I'm looking forward to watching the progress of your veggie plot too!

    In my last house the veggies were in the ornamental borders too. I didn't even have a separate veggie bed. That was a first for me, but it worked out very well. I liked how it looked too - some vegetable plants can be quite ornamental.

  12. What a wonderful adventure that will be! I plan on trying to save some of my own seeds for next year too. We'll see how I do. I sure hope I do better this year than I have in the past!

  13. Thanks, we've signed up. This sounds like fun.

  14. Hi Cinj, good luck with your seed saving! You might enjoy checking out One Green Generation. There are lots of tips and tricks there for collecting and saving seeds.

    Hi Kim and Victoria, Cool! I'll enjoy watching your veggie adventures!

  15. I'll check out this site, Linda. I'm particularly curious how to save seeds from vegetables--I've never done this before. I'm going to try to start a few tomato seeds this year, which will be a first--I always buy the plants at a garden center. Good luck with your veggie adventures--I'll be interested in seeing your progress. My goal this year is to save my tomato plants from blight:) Oh yes, and to keep the weeds at bay!

  16. These challenges will be fun ~ it sounds as if you'll have a great time growing veggies this year. I'll be joining you in the growing challenge. Last year, I signed up and enjoyed it!

  17. Good morning Rose, good luck with starting veggies from seed! It's rewarding and fun. I like that there are so many different varieties available with seeds.

    I hope your tomatoes are healthy and plentiful this summer!

    Very cool Kate! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone's growing and how they do it!

  18. I'm not a big veggie-grower but hope to do more in the future! Thanks for the comments on my blog - I'm sorry that you have to deal with three silver maples. My parents' neighbors planted one that towers over their yard and is always dropping something on their deck - probably a few limbs will fall on the deck eventually, since that tree has such weak wood. But the shade is nice. And the Big Box stores do have some nice deals on good plants. Last year I noticed that the 1 gallon astilbes and nepetas were $5 at Home Depot and $10 at my local nursery - the exact same cultivars. It's hard to justify spending the $10 at the nursery when the HD versions look just as healthy!

  19. Hi VW, I really enjoyed your post on your plans and progress for your garden, and noticed you plan to include a vegetable garden. I think you'll enjoy it when you get to that phase. I can relate to time and budget constraints for sure. I've lived here for five years, and focused most of my attention on the backyard shade garden, Now I'm finally getting to the veggies!

    I like to support independent nurseries even though the plants are usually more expensive, but I'm always happy to find big box bargains too!


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