Last year the last live talk I gave a talk on hardening off seedlings. I admit I was surprised that out of a room of a couple hundred gardeners,only a third to a half raised their hands when asked if they knew how to harden off seedlings.
When I had been asked to do this talk, I thought it would bore a room of gardeners, but in that moment I understood something fundamental about our gardening journey, that has stayed with me all year.
What may seem basic knowledge to one gardener, may be another gardener’s biggest challenge, or may be something that has eluded them completely.
As I took out my lettuce seedlings to continue the hardening off process, I remembered this talk and thought I’d offer the talk to you in case any of you have struggled with seedlings dying in the garden like my friend Sharon.
Sharon has been gardening for a couple decades longer than I have been.She is someone I look up to for her experience, yet she is primarily a perennial heirloom flower gardener.
Sharon confessed to me a couple years ago when we were potting up seedlings together, that hers tend to die. Turns out she would start her seedlings indoors, then one day, she would take them out and put them in the ground.She had not really hardened off any of her annual vegetable seedlings and just gotten lucky that some would live, but many didn’t. Hence, after years of wasting money on seeds, she had given up on starting seedlings .
So it seemed many of you might be able to use the information in my talk from last January, so here it is.
Debby Ward is a professional organic gardening speaker, instructor, coach and writer with over 40 years of gardening experience. She is the Founder of Prior Unity Garden, Making Organic Garden Dreams a Reality. Debby has been gardening since she could crawl around the family garden
Debby loves to help grow gardeners and has trained Master Gardeners in Fairfax County VA for the County Extension Office, taught for The Mason Sustainability Institute, Washington Gardener Magazine, the Take Back Your Health Conference and for many other events, organizations and groups.
She has written articles for Green America and Natural Awakenings Magazines as well as many articles on herbal healing when she was the past President of Joe Pye and Friends, the former National Capital Area Herbal Network. She has written a booklet on Seed Starting and Safe Seed Buying as well as all the course materials for Prior Unity Garden classes. Debby created The Organic Garden Guide & Veggie Layout Handbook and the Prior Unity Garden product line.
Known as Garden Coach Deb, she provides organic garden coaching and consultations by phone, Zoom and in person for folks local to the Washington DC Metro area.
Debby loves to ‘paint with plants’ as she now calls it, combining her love of plants with her fine arts degree and sense of style, color and space. Debby has built Prior Unity Garden to assist others in achieving their organic garden goals and dreams and values biodiversity, community, healthy living soil, fresh organic food, music and the prior unity inherent in all beings.