Spring fever is in full gear! Seed Catalogs have arrived, orders have come in and it’s now time to start those seedlings. Last year was my first successful year at starting my seedlings indoors. I went through trials and errors and honestly thought my tomato seedlings were not going to make it. One of the things I learned last year was that tomatoes are the most difficult plants to start from seed. I KNOW WHY!!! After I get through this post, explaining how to germinate your seeds, I will take you into tending your seeds.
Seed Starting Supplies
- Jiffy greenhouse
- Starting Mix
- Soil Thermometer
Before you fill your peat pots with starting mix, you will need to wet your mix with enough water to start the germination process. What I do is wet it enough so that when I squeeze the mix, some water drips out. Not soaking wet, but just damp enough.
Once the pots are filled, place them in the jiffy greenhouse and put it on top of your refrigerator or any other warm spot away from a draft. In order to germinate, the seedlings need a damp, and warm environment.
What about my extra seeds? You can freeze your extra seeds for about three years. I simply put the seed packets into baggies, put them into an envelope and place them in my freezer. SIMPLE!!
You’ll want to leave your seedlings alone in the greenhouse until they start to sprout. Once a few have sprouted, prop the lid open and leave them until all of the seeds have sprouted.
One thing to be aware of is trying to avoid your seedlings from getting leggy. This happens when you leave them too long during the germination stage and they start to “reach” for a light source. As soon as all your seedlings have germinated, move them under your light source.
Once they have all sprouted, you can then either put them in a sunny location near a window, preferably a south facing window or you can put them under lights to start the growing process. My husband made me an awesome setup in the basement using ordinary shop lights utilizing flourescent bulbs.
This year I am actually going to be adding a large wire shelf and hooking up an additional row of lights. Next week, I will share with you all about building your own light stand with ordinary shop lights and tending our seedlings. As I’ve learned, seedlings can be very finicky especially when your growing in your basement under lights
So until then Garden Soldiers!! Let’s Grow Our Own!!
Part 1: Ordering Seed Catalogs
Part 2: Understanding the differences between Heirloom, Hybrid, GMO, and Organic Seeds
Part 3: Planting Zones, Frost Dates, and Planting Calendars
Part 4. Understanding Succession Planting
Part 5. Spring Time is Near! It’s Time to Start Those Seedlings!
Part 6. Growing Seeds Indoors Under Supplemental Lighting
Part 7. Tending your seedlings
Part 8. Methods of Urban Gardening
This post is a part of Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday!