12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Thyme Out
 Why Make your own organic potting soil mix? This is such an easy thing to do and really is much healthier for you. Plus, it will save you a bit more money than going out and buying a premade bag of potting soil. Making your own organic potting soil will feel great and your seedlings and plants will thank you!  If you need some ideas for what to put your seedlings in you can go HERE.  If you’re new to getting started with seedlings, HERE are a few of our ranch tips. Things to know what a good potting mix will do:
  • * Will be firm enough to support the plant
  • * Contribute light enough to allow air and water to flow with minimal compaction
* Be free of weed seeds and potential pathogens Coconut Coir: In may potting mix recipes they call for peat moss, but since there are many debates regarding mining from peat bogs, I decided to use the coir instead. Coconut coir is a by-product of the coconut-processing industry and is ground up coconut husk fibers. How cool is that? It is wonderful for retaining water. I got mine in a brick form so you have to soak it in water before it is ready to use. If you like peat moss in your recipe, substitute it 1:1. Perlite: Perlite is a volcanic rock. It holds water and helps to aerate the soil and keep it from compacting. Some folks also use vermiculite or plain old course sand in place of Perlite in some potting soil recipes. Compost: LOVE this stuff. First, it is the soil you made from all those leftover scraps! Ours is filled with tea herbs so how wonderful this will be to use in my potting mix! Just make sure the compost is “finished’ or it will burn your plants or introduce weed seeds into your pots. Use the finest part of the compost you can get. I had to sift a bit to get out some chunks. DIY Potting Soil Recipe (the affiliate links helps our ranch ministry) A “part” can be anything you use for a measuring device. Like a cup, bucket, can, etc. All depends on how much you need to make. If your coir is in a block you will need to add water to it. I used my hands and worked it until it was really moist. Next, mix the coir and your compost. Add more water as it makes it easier to work with. I like it damp to easily work. Add your Perlite, stir it well and BAM…your ready to fill those planters! Congrats you little homesteader you! Let me know what you think! Send a picture or comment on how your seedlings did use your own organic potting soil recipe! God’s blessings as you plant HIS goodness, naturally! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee

Ranch Life, Thyme Out

Getting the itch with the smell of spring! What do I do? YEP, start my seedlings! I make it easy by applying some simple steps and making a plan.

With each day bringing warmer temps and melting snow, I start imagining what kind of herbs and veggies we want to have on the ranch. Taking a walk around the ranch seeing the seeds that worked last year, the ones that didn’t, and making notes along the way. Now I can start purchasing my seeds. I tell ya, this is an awesome place and fast shipping!

How to Get Started

Purchasing the seeds early can be tricky but when I know what veggies and flowers I want to start I purchase in January. I first outline my gardens and design what will go where and what we for sure want to plant. Designing your gardens helps you not overbuy plus stay focused on what will grow well in the different areas you want a garden. We have a TON of shade so I have to work that angle too.

New Tack Shack

First DIY Step

Visualize: Like I stated above picture, draw out, take a walk around your home or area and design the layout of plants. Since we have this adorable new Tack Shack, I want to add pots both on the ground and hanging. We also have a Thyme Out pasture now fenced off so each of the planters needs herbs for both horses and us. This is an area without much sun, so I have to watch which herbs can grow in this wooded area. We were given a grant by our local St. Joseph’s Foundation last year in May of 2017 and it worked out beautifully!

Garden Bed

DIY Step 2

Preparing your seeds is the fun part! Getting your hands in the dirt when there is snow outside is AWESOME! Here are some ideas for planting your seedlings if you don’t want to use the traditional plastic tray method which also is a money saver. I think you will like the ideas too!

The dirt we use is our own compost. I highly recommend doing your own and I have a post on how to prepare your dirt if you want to check that out here. There is nothin’ like making your own homestead potting soil!

Once the seeds are cozy in the dirt, you need to make sure you mark them well. I mean WELL! It will be 5 months before mine goes into the ground and a lot can happen to tape along with the trays and even the pop cycle sticks, so I always mark in many ways.

Lastly, fill the trays up with water and spray the midst on the top. This is how I water daily is by waterbottle misting. It’s light on the seedlings and acts like soft rain.

DIY Step 3

Lighting…Window light or Florescent Light?

We have huge windows in our home and with every window is where I put my seedlings. But this isn’t ideal. I would like to work towards having a warm greenhouse and that is a dream of mine one day, but I also could go the extra mile and get some fluorescent lights and place the seedlings on a shelf. This is a wonderful way to grow your seeds. However, this would cost me some money. By the time I purchase at least 4 lights and have my hubby link this all up, it would be April. So I have chosen to use my windows and the greenhouse shelves. I found a picture for you of the fluorescent one in case you want to try this. It is a better way! Let me know too I always love to hear what others have done!

Green house
Our greenhouse!

DIY Step 4

 Babying your Seedlings Make sure you check your babies every day and the trays are full of water. They will drink what they need. The biggest struggle is sunlight for me especially this time of year, hence the fluorescent system but whatever you choose you to pray for lots of sunshine! Once your season begins depending on where your zone is transplanting away! Some I will be putting into planters in April keeping them in our home until May. Most of our gardening won’t take place unfortunately until Memorial weekend. Such a bummer, but it’s Minnesota! God bless you all as you start your own herbs and veggies and living a healthy homesteading lifestyle!

Whatever you do in your prepping and planting, enjoy the learning along the way! Every year I change because of our climate and of course how the gardens did the year before. It is fun to see your hard work in full bloom come in the middle of summer!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,