Yesterday I picked up my seed order from the local co-op and today I am going to start a few seeds indoors. I tend to get carried away when reading the seed catalogs and if I had the room I would start twice as many as I do. However I only have one simple growing table with two grow lights so my space is limited.
I have a chart where I have written down what seeds I will start and when to start them.
There are several resources available on line. I have made two downloads to help me stay organized this year. Little House in the Suburb has a little booklet you can put together. By determining your last day of frost you work backwards to determine what you should plant and when. I also downloaded a seed-starting chart from Martha Stewart. It is basically the same information just on one sheet. The booklet I’ve used before, I want to see which works better.
Today I am going to start my leeks, onions and broccoli. I will start the broccoli in a small box and for the leeks I will use a different type of container. In the smaller containers I usually put a paper towel in the bottom to keep the soil mixture contained. By the time I need to transplant the paper towel will have dissolved.
In a previous posting you may recall that I made my own seed starting mixture, I have filled the containers with this mixture and moistened them slightly.
One rule of thumb is to plant the seeds 2-3 ties as deep as the seed is wide. Leek and onion seeds are rather small and are pretty much sprinkled on the top of the soil.
Once my seeds are planted I make sure the soil is moist. One way to do this is to fill a plastic bin with water and float the pot in it until the surface is damp. I then label each container with the date and the name of the plant. This will help me keep track of how many days it took the seeds to germinate and will also help me when it comes time to plants the vegetable plants in the garden. I may be able to tell leeks from broccoli but it is very important to keep track of the variety of peppers and tomatoes.
Cover the seeds with a plastic or glass cover to create a mini greenhouse. You need to keep the seeds warm; a heating pad may be necessary. You do not need a grow light until the seeds sprout. Once you see the first seed sprouting remove the cover and place under your grow light. Keep a close eye on the seedlings, as you don’t want them to dry out.
It’s a wonderful feeling to finally have some seeds planted. I will continue to plant more as the weeks go by. Won’t be too long before I’ll be able to be outside working in the garden!