Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finally started my seeds!

It’s been on my mind since January when I started getting those farm porn magazines in the mail (i.e. seed catalogs).  And I’ve been going through my old seed packets like a farmish King Midas, heaping them in small piles, picking them up & letting them cascade off my hands, all the while wondering which ones I want to start this year (all of them, of course!).
Today was the day.  I couldn’t procrastinate any longer.  Technically I’m already a week or two behind in starting my peppers and tomatoes, but at least the garden is officially underway.
Last year I started like 200, yes two hundred, seeds in those little plastic containers.  I think there were 48 individual cells in each flat, so it really didn’t take up that much room.  But they either died shortly after getting their first set of true leaves or never grew more than a few inches tall.  I think it had something to do with not having the light close enough to them, but I’m still not sure.  They were all spindly & the ones that did survive being transplanted into the garden didn’t grow an inch more through the entire summer.  Talk about a bummer.  I babysat those little sprouts for week upon week and didn’t get a single tomato out of it.  So I ended up buying some heirloom veggie plants at the local farmer’s market.
This time, I decided to splurge and buy some of those nifty peat pellets.  No mixing up seed-starting soil, no dirt all over the kitchen countertop, just wet ‘em, shove the seed in there & done!  Yes, they cost me 8 cents per pellet and I could have used the seed-starting mixture from last year & those little plastic cells, but I’ll save the eight bucks somewhere else this month.
Like my "designer" round greenhouse?
It used to be the container for an ice cream cake!

I started 1
8 cabbage, 6 eggplant, 25 peppers, 10 tomatoes, 5 yellow pear tomatoes and 5 red cherry tomatoes.  I also saved some seeds from a really good batch of apples a friend gave us last year & planted six just for kicks.
Now that I have the seeds started, that means I only have a few days to find exactly where I’m going to keep them and how we’re going to hang the lighting.
I’m hoping to have a good sized garden this year, so I’ll also sow some more cabbage seeds directly in the soil later on.  My main focus this year is to have a big winter squash garden, although I still haven’t decided if I’m going to start them indoors or just sow them direct next month.
We currently have two raised beds right in front of the house and I want to start an onion and herb garden in those.  Paul said we’ll try to get two or three more raised beds made next to the other two this spring.  If we do, I plan on having my lettuce, spinach and other “kitchen” fixings in those beds.
Have you started your garden yet?


  1. Not yet. I started my peppers and tomatoes in Feb of last year too. Just a little too early. I had on "old-timer" say that even here in NC you don't want to plant peppers and tomatoes before May 15th. As I am lacking in experience in these matters, I'll take his word for it. Hopefully, I'll start by mid March. I'm doing the pellets too BTW.

  2. Great start.

    I have two varieties of cabbage up, vinca, snaps, the broccoli is just sitting there...no germinations yet.

    Here in southwest Missouri, I won't start tomatoes or peppers until late next month. I don't want them to get too tall and leggy before planting out in mid-May.

    I started some agastache and St. John's worth seeds a few days ago.

    I never start big seeds inside. Cucs, melons, squash all get started outside in hills. It just means less transplanting work for me.

  3. gld, I wonder if that's what happened to my seeds last year. Too long in the pots before transplanting outside? I'm also hoping to put a small hoop row over them so I can get 'em in a bit earlier. (going to have to look agastache....as I have NO idea what that is!)

  4. We're starting some onions from seed in a few days. We've got major spring fever here.

  5. I planted the first crop on 2-15-11 hoping to get a double crop this year. I planted Roma, Cherry and Big Boy tomatoes, Basil, Carrots, Radish, Green Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Shallots and Scallions. Come 6-15-11 I'll plant the second crop.