Monday, March 18, 2013

seed starting

I wanted to have more of an active role in our house's gardening this spring and summer. It wasn't really planned, but over the two gardening seasons we have had in this house, Mark has migrated to outdoor chores and I've taken care of the inside. But this year I wanted to feel like the gardens were just as much mine as his. 

So on Sunday, we got seeds started for indoor growth on our upstairs window seat. We set aside the direct planting seeds to wait until we get past the danger of frost, and took the remaining seeds (primarily herbs, peppers and tomatoes) and planted them in the biodegradable Jiffy pots that Mark picked up last year. (The first round of seeds we started last year were in toilet paper rolls that we painstakingly saved over the winter. They worked okay, but not as well as the biodegradable pots.)

We used an organic seed starting mix for the soil. (The first year we had a small garden, we bought seedlings. Last year as novices at seed starting, we used top soil. Not the greatest for promoting germination.  But nature worked its magic and we still got a lot of veggies by the end of the summer.)

Once the soil was in the cups, I moistened it with warm water. 

We debated which seeds to use from last year, considering how well they grew last year and which ones tasted the best. Our tomatoes were unbelievably successful last year, and we are eager for them to take off again. (Picking a tomato off the vine in the heat of August and eating it 15 minutes later is a uniquely wonderful experience.)

Last year the ground cherries were not successful, but we're giving them another go. Ground cherries are similar to cherry tomatoes, and grow in a papery husk.

Also new this year is my attempt to grow flowers from seed for deck boxes on our front porch. I've never been able to keep flowers alive and well for long, but I got these seeds at the Mother Earth News Fair last September from Seed Savers Exchange, where we are members and where we get all our seeds. So I thought I'd give it a try!

Once in pots and planted appropriately, we labeled them with popsicle sticks. The photo below is from the herb section - purple basil is probably the most exciting to me! I really want to make purple pesto this year because I think it would freak people out to eat purple pasta sauce.

We are trying a variety of pepper called Candlelight, which grow in clumps that are colorful and look like clusters of Christmas bulbs. Can't wait to put those puppies in fajitas and salsa. In addition to the herbs, tomatoes, peppers and ground cherries, we're trying broccoli again and eggplants. (Also other veggies like pumpkins, lettuces and greens, cucumbers, etc., but those are direct seed and won't get started until it gets warm.)

I didn't manage to get a photo of the window set up before the sun set and the decent light was gone, but they are set up and waiting for this nasty weather to go away and for the sun to come out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment