Should I start my seeds indoors?
Great question! Some seeds do best when they are started indoors, and others do not. It will depend on two major factors:
Some plants can not tolerate being transplanted because their roots are far too delicate or shallow. A great example is sweet corn. It is simply best to be patient for the correct conditions to plant outdoors, whether in tilled earth or raised beds.
Soil temperature is also of the utmost importance. For example greens, peas, and other vegetables are very frost tolerant and even grow sweeter in cool weather, but their seeds still don't germinate well in cold soil. Starting your early spring vegetables indoors with a seed blanket in a temperature controlled area is ideal. Get the plants started and the seeds germinated, then transplant to your garden area. You can find the recommended soil temperatures of our seeds here.
Do I need to buy fertilizer or other soil supplements for a healthy garden?
The short answer is no. If you build or buy a raised bed, and buy good quality top soil and mix in some organic matter to fill it you shouldn't need to add anything extra to your soil to have a basic kitchen garden.
However we do recommend soil testing if you are going to till ground in your backyard. Every plant has its own ideal soil; a mix of microorganisms, optimal pH level, and nutrient balances. Please send us a message or watch our blog for soil testing recommendations.
How often should I water my vegetable garden?
The soil should always be damp, but there shouldn't be pools of water around your plants. A good soil will store and hold water; releasing it slowly, never holding it in pools.
Depending on the amount of sun and the climate you may be required to water several times a day. Make sure your plant beds are designed to allow excess water to drain away from the plants. If you are purchasing or building raised beds ensure there is appropriate places for water to drain away from your plants. Planting in mounds is one technique to ensure proper drainage, and works well with beans and squashes.
Can your seeds be used to grow microgreens?
Yes! Our peas, lettuce, and broccoli make amazing micro-greens! Be sure to check out our favorite quick Tik-Tok video on growing sprouts/microgreens! It is in our video section here.
Do I need to buy high quality seed to have a healthy garden?
No, but you should. If you are serious about your garden or trying to start a garden, buying seeds that have had their germination rate tested in the last year and have germination rates above 80% is essential for a garden that is not based on simply a hope and prayer that a seed will take root.
The Federal Seed Act (FSA) requires that seed harvesters in the United States test their seeds regularly and clearly state their germination rate on the package. However there are few regulations for imported seeds.
Seeds from Steadfast Farms are harvested and tested in the United States and hand-packed. This allows us to ensure each package of seeds has only seeds we would sow ourselves!