Starting our seedlings

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I look outside this morning and see snow on the ground. Yet, it is time to plant my tomatoes and peppers inside. Are you ready to start thinking about your garden yet?

Every year we start our seedlings early. We could purchase plants in the spring as well, which we do if we don’t have seedling success. Although we have some pretty incredible plant sales here where I live. My favorite is hosted by the Antelope Gardening Club in May. Yavapai College also hosts one about the same time. Those dates won’t be released until later in the spring. You can, however, check on our Facebook page because we will post the dates as soon as we hear about them.

So I am gathering my supplies today. I need potting soil, a little manure, seeds, and pots. I also pick up dollar store cookie sheets to put my pots on. The cookie sheets help prevet my table from getting wet when I water. For my fertilizer, I am using older goat manure

Planting Pots

You have many choices when it comes to planting pots. Here are just a few that we have used over the years. The last one is a new brand that our family is using this year.


As for manure, we have an abundance over here on our homestead including goat, poultry, kunekune pig and rabbit. Here is some great information on manure.

Approximate carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of select manures:

Cow 25-1
Sheep and Goat 15-1
Swine 12-1
Poultry 7-1

“Some manures have the ideal carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of 25- to-1, meaning they can be tilled directly into the soil without worry of overfertilizing. These
‘cool’ manures tend to be crumbly with bits of grass still visible in them. The hottest manures come from omnivores, like chickens and pigs, and are stinkier and slimier than those with less nitrogen.

There is a spectrum of potency in herbivore manure. In general, the more grass an animal has in its diet, the lower the nitrogen content. Animals that like to eat woody plants (goats) or vegetables (rabbits) have more concentrated nutrients in their feces. Herbivore manure is relatively cool and is fair game for using in the garden without composting first, though in most cases it’s best to age the manure for at least a month or two before using.
” from

Cow – Dairy – Manure from a dairy cow is perfect to take straight from your cow pasture to your garden. Spread a thin layer on top and till it in.

Cow – Steer for meat – Because their diet is different, you need to compost this manure before you use it.

Horse – Composting is best because weed seeds do not digest and will transfer weeds into your garden. When you compost, the heat from the “pile” will kill those seeds. If the weeds don’t worry you, you can till into the ground and plant a month or so later.

Goat, Sheep, Llama and Alpaca – Using their bedding(straw, hay or pine shavings) with the manure is your best bet because it needs a bit of a carbon source needed to compost.

Rabbit – Most concentrated of the herbivores – use sparingly. You can soak and make a manure “tea” for your plants that need extra nitrogen.

Swine – Pig poop is the mildest omnivore manure in terms of nitrogen content. Mixed at a 1-to-1 ratio with straw, it makes a well-balanced compost pile.

Poultry – Birds poop and pee in one package, making their manure slimy, stinky and very high in nutrients. Chicken, pigeon, duck, turkey, quail and other poultry manures need composting before they are used: mix them with straw at a 1-to-4 ratio for a well-balanced compost pile.

Bats – Bat manure, commonly referred to as guano, is even more concentrated than poultry waste. Today it is available in many garden centers.

Potting Soil

Potting soil is used to hold moisture and nutrients around your plant’s roots. It helps retain water and keep oxygen near the roots.

Most potting soil you buy in a garden center are comprised of three basic ingredients: peat moss, pine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite (to provide air space).

 Peat moss provides moisture and nutrient retention.  Pine bark provides anchorage, some nutrient and moisture retention and air space.  Perlite and vermiculite provide most of the air space in the soil. from

We will be updating as our garden grows this year! 🙂

This article was shared on the Homestead Blog Hop and Oak Hill Homestead Blog Hop

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