Redundancy, Interconnectivity, and One Step at a Time
Written by: Patsy Lussier; Go Go Green Thumbs
This week, in our group discussions, as we explore support systems and how we navigate the unexpected, oh so many lessons from the garden come up for me!
Working with living systems for a few years now, I’ve come to a humble realization: we do not actually control much! It can be counter to our current and taught cultural beliefs, but it is so real and raw this is actual age-old knowledge and the natural world has so much to teach us here. In all fairness though, the sense of control gives us great peace of mind and there is so much value in being prepared!
The weather is the number one factor that influences our crops (our environment is what affects us the most). We have all witnessed drastic differences from year to year, so how do we show up ready?
My number one ingredient for success is redundancy in the system. This shows up in many ways!
Rule of Green Thumbs: Plant more than you need and stagger your planting.
As I live in a cold climate, yes there is still a foot of snow on my garden patch, I get a head start. I have just set up a temporary shelf that will live by my dining room window for the next 8 weeks. I start more seedlings than I want to transplant. Some won’t germinate, some may go leggy or even dry up (oops!). But this will allow me wiggle room to still have plenty of healthy seedlings, and bonus if they are all successful, I can gift or trade! See how interconnectivity just showed up here as an offering. Having these exchanges has often brought me extra seedlings at a time where mine weren’t successful or simply added variety.
I will also stagger my plantings. I always start the same seeds a couple weeks apart. This is a silly thing I do but as I am still figuring out the ultimate timing for success in my new location, between the light for my seedlings and the weather and timing of transplant, it takes the pressure off of having to be perfect. It’s all an experiment! I journal the timing of my actions and what worked best and repeat those in the future if the variables haven’t changed too much or, I adapt.
And don’t forget, one step at a time! Working backwards from your intentional transplant date, mine is typically around May long, start your seeds one category at a time.
Here are some common examples:
Hot crops: tomatoes, peppers, leeks are 60 days seedlings.
Brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale are 30 days seedlings.
Squashes: winter (butternut), summer (zucchini), cucumbers are 15 day seedlings.
Everything has a time and place, don’t rush it, the big picture will come together if we stick to small but constant action.
Happy seeding y’all !
Here’s a quick bonus: What is one surprise you’ve had in the garden that you than adjusted for the following season?
Go Go Green Thumbs!