In the Garden

Seed Starting…2013 Edition

IMG_0414 I started my seeds a little differently this year. For the past two years, I planted seeds on a very small scale, using just a few peat pots and a homemade light hut. Well, this year, an unexpected gift from my gardening mentor (otherwise known as my dad) gave me the push I needed to turn things up a notch.

IMG_0426 Dad has decided to garden 100% from plants this year. No seeds. So he packed up his Burpee grow light and heating mat and gifted it to me! Score! I’m using these with a moisture wicking mat I already own and it’s working great. Just enough heat and moisture to keep my seedlings happy.

IMG_0416I also tried some new seed starting containers this year. Instead of peat pots, I’m using seed starting pellets which expand with the addition of about an ounce of warm water on each pellet. Just in case the pellets were a total fail, I used an egg carton for a dozen seeds as well.

Turns out the seeds love them both! I didn’t plant a ton of seeds, mind you, but 100% of what I did plant sprouted! That’s never happened for me before. I think the combination of good seed starting soil, along with the warmth from the heater and moisture wicked from below the seed containers was a great combination. Unlike previous years, I’ve managed to avoid mold so far as well.

Here’s hoping these little guys grow up as successfully as they have started!

In the Garden, That Cat of Ours

Look What Arrived!

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My seeds came on Monday! The cat, however, is not a recent arrival. He just makes the photo more interesting and helps prop up the seed packets. Notice how pleased he is with me.

I sorted through all the packets today, and went out with the kids to pick up seed starting supplies. In a little bit of irony, now that my mind’s on spring, we are due to receive 4-6 inches of wet snow tomorrow. I guess I’ll be enjoying the view from inside while planting my seeds!

Here’s what I have:

Starting Indoors
Tomato Mortgage Lifter (from Dad)
Tomato Cherokee Purple (saved from last year’s harvest)
Tomato Silvery Fir Tree (a bush variety)
Cherry Tomato Lizzano
Cilantro (harvested last year)
Kale Dwarf Blue Curled
Chili Pepper Early Jalapeno
Sweet Pepper California Wonder
Eggplant Black Beauty
Mystery Tomato (that I forgot to label after saving from dad’s tomato – maybe a “Mister Stripy”)

Starting Outdoors Later
Onion Parade
Spinach Bloomsdale
Lettuce Salad Bowl Blend
Lettuce Mesclun
Lettuce Buttercrunch
Basil Dolce Vita Blend
Swiss Chard Ruby Red
Parsley Moss Curled
Bean Henderson Bush Baby Lima
Bean Blue Lake Bush
Bean Tenderpick
Pea Wando Shelling
Cucumber Spacemaster
Broccoli Raab Rapini

I’ll most likely end up picking up plants to supplement the herb garden, too. Yes, I think it may be time for Hubberman to start drawing up plans for an additional raised bed. This will hopefully be a busy season!