Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

WOW! 25 Packages of Orgainc Seed for $5 Shipped!

Seeds of Change are offering 25 seed packets for the cost of shipping ($4.99)!  This is $75 worth of organic seed for $5! 

They have posted that they gave away 100 million seeds in 2 days and the deal is done.  Hope you got in on it if you were wanting to!

Just fill out a short survey (1 minute!) and enter your payment information.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

HSV Garden Challenge Starting Today!

Note: the next link up date is April 28 (10amEST).

I have decided to take on the HSV Garden Challenge I posted about the other day and today is the first day to link up.

My kids are preschoolers so we will be using Gardening Preschool Pack from Home School Creations to supplement what we are already doing using My Father's World Kindergarten Curriculum (letter recognition, sound recognition & handwriting).

Today we will review the letter "G" focusing on Garden.  This will involve reviewing the letter sound and handwriting.  We are observing a bean seed that we put in a cup of water on Tuesday.

My preschoolers have been excited to check on it everyday to see if anything new is happening.  My oldest immediately observed that the water made it "get bigger".  He is finding it hard to wait for something new to happen, but I keep reminding him that it takes time for plants to grow, just like it takes time for people.  Today we will plant a bean seed in soil and start observing it.

It is a complete joy to get to share my gardening adventures with my children, and learn from each other along the way!

Update:  Plans changed a little after we read our story.  

We read Zinnia's Flower Garden for story time & then the kids wanted to plant flowers.  Fortunately I had some Zinnia seed I had collect a couple of seasons ago so we planted Zinnia seeds instead of bean seeds.

Spontaneity is the spice of life right!?! ;D

Happy Gardening (and learning)!

Transplanting into Larger Containers

A little over a month ago I started a variety of flower seeds that will go into my flower pots as soon as the weather decides to stay warm.  (Will that day come this year!?!?)

After a couple of weeks little Geraniums, Morning Glories and Snap Dragons began to peek out of the soil and I turned on the lights.

Those little flowers have grown their first two 'real' leaves and it is time for me to transplant them into larger containers. 
Notice the small smooth edged leaves found toward the base of the geraniums in the picture above, these are those first leaves.  The larger green and red leaves are the 'real' leaves  & are recognizable as a geranium leaf.
What do I mean by a 'real' leaf?  The first leaves on a seedling often look nothing like the leaf found on the mature plant.  Their purpose is to provide the immediate energy needed for the seedling to get established.  Quickly the seedling needs more energy than those first leaves can provide and the 'real' leaves begin to grow.  These leave will look just like a leaf found on the mature plant.

Once the seedling has two 'real' leaves, it can handle the shock of being transplanted into a larger container.  The seedling can stay in the cell longer, but the larger container will be less likely to dry out and give your seedling plenty of space to grow.  For most plants, this is the only transplant that they will need before they go into their permanent home.

It is also at this point that you will thin to one plant per container.  If you try to pull out a nearby seedling you could damage the roots of the plant you want to keep, so it best to just clip them off at soil level with a fingernail clippers.

Make sure to water your newly transplanted seedlings well and put them back under the grow lights or in a sunny window.  They continue to need 8-12 hrs of full spectrum light.  Check out my post about lighting seedlings, leave a comment or send me an email if you have questions.

Happy (indoor) gardening!

HSV Garden Challenge

If you are a home school family, or just want to use your garden as an educational tool this year, here is a great opportunity to keep you accountable and participate with lots of other people.

The Homeschool Village is hosting the HSV Garden Challenge.  To participate, they are asking that you plant something (they say ANYTHING! & it doesn't have to survive ;-)) and then "share your plan, planting, cultivating, and harvest photos" with them on specified days in the months of March, April, May & June.  The first date is this Thursday, March 31.  For more details check out the HSV Garden Challenge page and their Q & A page.

NOTEMoneySavingMom posted about this.  It looks like a great FREE pre-school curriculum (from Home School Creations) to companion the HSV Garden Challenge! :D

And the Winner is...

The drawing was held at the end of the seed exchange on Saturday and the winner was Beth Karic!   Beth, if you will send me an email with your address at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.  I will get it sent to you.  Congratulations! :D

Seed Exchange This Weekend! (3-36-11)

Don't forget March 26th (this Saturday) from 10 - 11:30 am at the food court in West Acres Mall, I will host a seed exchange.  It is open to anyone who wants to share seeds they don't want anymore or have an abundance of, AND those people looking for seeds.  You are welcome to bring seeds to share or just come & share gardening stories.  Feel free to come and go anytime during the morning.

Check out my Facebook Event if you like.

I look forward to seeing you at the West Acres Food Court!

Facebook Fan Appreciation Giveaway!

The Full Circle Gardener Facebook page passed a milestone last week.  In celebration of this landmark I have a giveaway!  YEAH! :D

Soil Moist Granules are one of my all time favorite products for my container vegetable and flower gardens!  On very hot summer days I have happier plants when I'm not home or forget to water, because I placed some of these granules in the bottom of my pots!    

I cannot describe it any better than the company so here is what the packaging says: "Soil Moist polymer granules absorb water, similar to a sponge.  When the soil dries, the stored water is gradually released to the soil.  Safe to use on all plants, Soil Moist will reduce plant waterings by 50% and last several seasons.  Contains no plant food ingredients."

Here is how to enter.

1. (required) Leave a note below (not on Facebook) with your name and tell me, do you plant flowers, veggies or both in container garden(s).

2. (optional) Go to The Full Circle Gardener's Facebook page & click on like, then come back here and let me know that you are a Facebook fan (be sure to include your name).

3. (optional) Sign up to receive The Full Circle Gardener's posts delivered to your email in-box.  Go to the right side of this page to "Follow me by E-mail" and submit your e-mail address.  Then come back here and let me know that you receive The Full Circle Gardener by e-mail (be sure to include your name)

Note:  Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

The giveaway will end at 8pm Friday March 25.  A random drawing will be held at the Garden Veggies & Flowers Seed Exchange on Saturday March 26 (10-11:30)(attendance not required!).

Good luck and Happy Gardening to everyone.

The drawing was held at the seed exchange on Saturday & the winner was drawn.  Thanks to all participants and all my readers.  :)

When do you plant your garden?

Spring planting has been filling my mind lately (do you have a major case of Spring Fever, like me?!?) and that started me thinking about when do I usually plant my garden.  Somehow, somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that one needs to plant their garden by Memorial Day.  I'm not sure where that came from, but it seems to be ingrained in my thought process even though every year I hope to plant my garden much closer to my average last day of spring frost

That got me started though, and then I wondered, if I were to plan on planting my garden on Memorial Day weekend, where would I be on my seed starting and planting guide?  I was surprised, as I counted out the weeks, that we are 11 weeks out from Memorial Day weekend and that means that I would still be at the beginning of the seed starting season!  I was a bit surprised and somewhat relieved to know that if disaster would fall upon my little seedlings that I could start all over and not be late on anything!  If you haven't ever started your own seeds, it isn't too hard and doesn't have to be expensive.  Check out my posts under the heading of "starting seeds" to see how to get started.

When do you plant your garden?  Do you start your own seeds? 

Landmark day for The Full Circle Gardener on Facebook!

Today a landmark was accomplished when The Full Circle Gardener Facebook page reached 25 fans!  I was able to establish The Full Circle Gardener with an official user name & address on Facebook tonight! :)  You can check out The Full Circle Gardener's Facebook page at

To celebrate I will be posting a giveaway on Monday.  :D  Come back Monday and see what you could win!  Happy Gardening! 

Frugal Gardening

Are you interested in a few simple ways to save money as you garden?  I wrote a guest post on frugal gardening for FM Cheapskate.  Check it out here.  Welcome to The Full Circle Gardener all you visitors from FM Cheapskate.  I look forward to hearing from you. :)

Seed Starting & Planting Guide

For several seasons I've been trying to figure out the best way to track what seedlings I can start indoors and when.  I tried making a calendar, but didn't like having to remake it every year.  This year I decided to make a spreadsheet that listed what I could start, transplant or direct seed outdoors by weeks out from the date of the average last frost.  (Check with your local county extension agent for this information.)  I gathered the data I needed from the Weekend Gardener's Grow Guide that I have mentioned several times and plugged it into a spreadsheet.  I now can take this information and cross reference their information with my individual seed packets without having to sit down at my computer.  I think I'm really going to like this!  I will have to test it a couple of seasons to see what I really think, but I feel like it will be general enough to be used every year & still provide all the information I want/need at a glance.  Tell me, do you find this helpful?







head lettuce*

onion seeds*







head lettuce

onion seeds


chinese cabbage*







head lettuce

onion seeds


chinese cabbage


brussel sprouts*

egg plant*



chinese cabbage


brussel sprouts

egg plant


* new



brussel sprouts

egg plant


early tomatoes*

late tomatoes*


early tomatoes

late tomatoes


early tomatoes leeks kale

late tomatoes onion seeds kohlrabi

parsley mustard greens

onion sets





leaf lettuce* broccoli beets

okra* cabbage peas



leaf lettuce chinese cabbage swiss chard

okra collards

cucumbers* head lettuce



summer squash*

winter squash*


leaf lettuce brussel sprouts carrots





summer squash

winter squash

* new






summer squash

winter squash


cucumbers leaf lettuce



summer squash

winter squash

leaf lettuce

Date of Average Last Frost

done starting indoor for season! cucumbers bush beans

egg plant lima beans

melons pole beans

okra sweet corn

peppers cucumbers

summer squash melons

winter squash pumpkins

tomatoes summer squash

winter squash

* new

** all data obtained from Weekend Gardener Grow Guide (

-transplant & direct sow are cumulative; meaning once it has been introduced to the list it can be planted any week following


Oh my friends, I was so inspired this weekend! :D  I attended at a Gardening Day put on by one of the local extension agencies and the county's  Master Gardeners.  I have since spent hours dreaming, planning and searching the internet for more information.  It is such torture to look outside & see several feet of snow on the ground yet...

Three of the four seminars I attended have captured me; Eatable Landscaping (incoorperating veggies, flowers & herbs into landscaping beautifully, naturally and usefully), Rain barrels (installation, use and precautions), and Small Space Gardening.  All of these are concepts I already use in my landscape & gardens, but there were so many little hints and a few new concepts that I hope to implement this summer.  Keep your eyes open as the summer comes, for posts detailing more of what I learned and the changes I'm making as a result!

Have you learned any new gardening tips or concepts recently that were inspiring to you?

Seed Exchange Scheduled!

Some days spring feels like it is  months away yet, but soon the snow will melt and we will all be itching to put all kinds of seeds into our gardens and planters.  A seed exchange is a great way to beat some of the winter blues right now & look forward to spring and planting!

On March 26th from 10 - 11:30am at the food court at West Acres Mall, I will host a seed exchange open to anyone who wants to share seeds they don't want anymore or have an abundance of.  You are welcome to bring seeds to share or just come & share gardening stories.  Feel free to come and go anytime during the morning.

Check out my Facebook Event if you like.

 See you March 26th!  :D

Let there be light...

The seedlings have begun popping out of the soil & now it is time to turn our attention to making sure they get the light that they need.  Seedlings need 8-12 hrs of full specturm light per day or they will stretch out reaching for more sunlight.  This results in a spindly (leggy) and fragile plant.  This is not the most desirable condition to find our plants in when it comes outdoor planting time in the spring.  Still, one doesn't have to run out and purchase a whole bunch of expensive equipment to provide seedlings light unless you have absolutely no natural sunlight for them. (You're welcome to ask me about my experience with ALL artificial light last year; maybe sometime I'll have room/time to share that story.)  My first couple of seasons starting seeds I would put them in front of our east facing patio window in the morning & then move them to the west facing windows in the afternoon.  This was somewhat involved, but worked for me until I had a little babies crawling around on my floors! ;) 

Once I had little people traveling my floors, I made my first 'major' investment in my indoor gardening... a plant stand.  At the time it cost me about $15 for a stand that I used indoors for starting seedlings and then moved outdoors & used as a greenhouse until planting time.  (I have recently seen them on sale at local hardware/garden stores for about $20.)  I was now limited to just the sunlight coming in my west facing windows & I felt like my seedlings were just not getting the light they needed and were therefore not as healthy as I wanted.  The next season I went back to the local hardware/garden center & purchased 18 inch full spectrum grow lights  (about $10 each) to supplement the sunlight they were getting.  I rigged the lights to hang from bars on my plant stand and turned them on.  To get the most benefit of the supplemental light, the plants should be about 2 inches away from the light.  My lights are in a fixed location, but I stack empty  containers under the flat to lift it up and lower the flat little by little as the seedlings grow.  This has given me my best results. :)  If you're keeping track, I have invested about $35 in my indoor setup which includes 2 lights & a 4 shelf stand.  If you were to make a similar setup today, it would cost you about $45-55.  This is still VERY reasonable if you look into multi-shelf plant stands sold specifically for growing seedlings!

As I said earlier, seedlings need 8-12 hrs of full spectrum light per day, but they also do best when they get rest time (dark) as well so I turn on my lights in the morning sometime before lunch and turn them off before I go to bed at night.  I have used an indoor 'Christmas light timer' to turn the lights on and off for me in the past but haven't gotten there yet this year... honestly those timers cause me more stress then turning the lights on & off as I try to figure them out! ;}  It is really nice to have a timer if you are going to be gone for a long period of time, but you could just leave the lights on too.

This is what I do, but I have a very good friend who uses her regular florescent under the cabinet lights in her kitchen to provide supplemental light & she leaves her lights on all day & night.  She has a shelf that almost looks like a stool that she puts her seedlings on in order to get them up close to the light source.  I point this out to say, make what you have work for you!  What ever you do, you will notice that your seedlings will still be more interested in the natural sunlight than the supplemental light.  To keep them growing as straight as you can, rotate them on a regular basis.

Now you are set!  You have started your seedlings, they are growing happliy in your home & now it is time to just maintain & nurture them until the weather has warmed up and we can move them outside! :D

This week I'll be starting the first of my veggies.  Are you starting anything new soon?

Happy Indoor Gardening!