EGGSHELL GARDEN STARTERS
BY MELISSA SPELTS A couple years ago, when snow was still on the ground, I couldn’t stop dreaming of the day I could start my garden. I longed to be outdoors and to have the sun on my face. A long winter will do that to you and as I am writing this in February and it is still snowing, I am feeling it again. Having a garden can be so rewarding. Going out and picking fruit and veggies as you need them for your meals is the best feeling. I am not perfect at gardening but being in Utah you don’t have to be. Everything seems to grow here with little effort, I know from trying to garden in Las Vegas that it isn’t so easy everywhere. I decided to save us some money by starting my garden from seeds indoors. It was so fun watching my seeds change daily into a plant you would find in the gardening section of the supermarket. I felt so proud of my efforts.
Ryan was sweet and a week before Mother’s day bought and prepped new soil for my garden. We checked the weather and it looked like it would be blue skies through Mother’s Day. Even though experienced gardeners would have said wait until after Mother’s Day, I felt we were safe. Unfortunately, a couple days after planting our garden, it snowed and the wind howled. I lost some of my garden but still managed to reap a good harvest. Seriously Utah, you ROCK!
What You’ll Need:
Egg Shells split in half (as close as you can)
Perks to using eggshells as your base…
• Eggshells are pretty much free if you eat eggs like my family
• They are full of calcium which is great for your seeds
• They are super easy to plant because the shell can go into the ground with your plant.
I called the state agriculture department to ask about proper timing and Helen Muntz gave me some great ideas.
• Try out vegetable varieties that aren’t always available as transplants. Look for the characteristics that works best for you, such as size, flavor, and use. Helen’s favorite tomato for example is called Super Sauce. It produces tomatoes the size of your hand, the fruit is meaty and very flavorful.
• If you aren’t sure where to start, you can check out the USU Extension publication called “Recommended Vegetable Varieties for Northern Utah.”
• Call the Utah State Horticulture if you have questions. They were super helpful to me. 801-399-8200
Garden Starts 101
FIRST: Plants seeds in each egg shell with planting soil. Label each one.
NEXT: Give them plenty of warm sunshine and water and watch them grow!
PLANT! Your starts are ready to continue growing outside. Plant directly into soil, no need to remove eggshells. Follow recommendations on seed packet of how far to space.
Utah weather can be tricky in the spring. Try and plant after the last frost. If needed you can cover your seedlings wth a blanket for bad weather.