In Michigan, at our ARK headquarters, we had a week of above normal temperatures. Yet, we know better than to start planting outside, so we began our summer planning and planting indoors (because of course, today, as I write, it is snowing)! The growing season here is short, so we find huge benefit of starting some of our ARK heirloom seeds in a greenhouse early in the season. Here is a great resource to understand your planting zone and create your own planting schedule.
The excitement of planting day, for us at ARK, is knowing that we have saved seeds from the prior year’s harvest. These saved seeds, different than your run-of-the-mill hardware store seeds, create a sense of stability for our family knowing that we are consuming high quality produce that can sustain year over year. If you save seeds from your hardware store vegetables, next year they will grow a plant, but never produce a fruit or vegetable. That is obviously the huge benefit of heirloom seeds – sustainability.
Over the years we have had a lot of trial and error with planting. With all the failures and successes at ARK, my main recommendation to gardeners, having healthy soil is the key to a successful harvest. The more nutrients in the soil, the more nutrients in your plants and a better annual yield to eat and to save.
If you are starting seeds in soil, here is my favorite formula:
30 Quarts – Compost (at least 2 years old)
15 Quarts – Peat
15 Quarts – Leaf Mold (at least 2 years old)
1 Cup – Kelp
1 Cup – Green Sand
1 Cup – Feather Meal
1 Cup – Rock Phosphate
½ Cup – Lime
NOTE: To maintain the nutrient density throughout the soil, water from the bottom of your seedlings by filling the holding tray rather than from the top.
We are so excited to see your heirloom seeds from our kits grow this season! Good luck!