Planting Seed for Change
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

April 11, 2011

Sprouting seeds is by far my favorite part of the whole garden project so far. The variety of seed shapes and size is fascinating ranging from large pumpkin seeds we all know so well to others like the cucumber seed, being only a few millimeters long.

To start off our vegetable garden, Tony and I went to the local garden store here in Tofino to buy some sprouting trays, a bag of potting soil, and a Ph soil tester. My biggest worry is that our soil Ph will be too low or high which would require us to modify the soil or buy a lot of potting soil. For any garden, determining the Ph should be taken into consideration when choosing the site and is a key place to start so that one may know exactly what they are dealing with when starting a garden.

Our soil looks to have a Ph of 6.5

From what I’ve found, most crops will grow between a Ph of 5.5 and 7.5, so we’re aiming for almost neutral soil with a Ph of 7. There are a number of things one can do to make the soil more acidic or basic, but it takes time. One can add Lime to raise the Ph or sulfur to reduce it if done some months prior to planting. In my opinion, these are both fairly evasive options that require a specific treatment of synthesized compounds. Compost on the other hand acts as a natural buffer, keeping the Ph from fluctuating too far in either direction. We all generate compost naturally, so it only makes sense to focus our efforts on building a compost bin and using it. Compost can break down in as little as three weeks if done correctly.

We’re still trying to have a garden on a budget so I will build the compost out of pallets and I’ll discuss how to do that later. Our cost to date is as follows The Ph test: $10, A bag of sprouting soil: $10, potting trays: $7. I have gotten all my seed from working with The Land Conservancy at my previous job, but most places will sell a pack of seeds for 2.99 or 3.99 depending on what you’re looking to buy. That puts our garden at 27 dollars so far which I find very reasonable.

Always more fun with friends

After transplanting these early spring crops, I hope to start sprouting others suited for late April and early May.

one week on

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