Hey guys!! I’m so glad you could join me, Jill, Amy, and Megan for another fun-filled Homestead Barn Hop! It has been so inspiring visiting everyone’s homesteads and seeing what you’ve all been up to! Keep the great ideas coming!
Around here we’ve been getting ready for planting season…
I’m just dying for the last frost to come so that I can get my seedlings out into the garden!! I’m running out of room under my grow light!
If you are new to starting seeds indoors, it’s very simple. And you basically use the same method for most plants (with a few exceptions which should be noted on your seed packet).
I like using individual cups best, like dixie cups or washed out yogurt containers. But, as you can see, I’m using egg cartons as well. Poke a couple of holes in the bottom of each cup for drainage. Fill your container with seed starting mix, NOT potting mix.
Water the mix well, and let it drain until it is no longer dripping from the bottom holes. Then plant your seeds at the recommended depth (should say on package). Put your container in an open ziploc bag, or something similar, and place it on top of your fridge (or in an out-of-direct-light place that’s fairly warm).
Keep an eye on your trays! Check your seedlings every day to see if any have emerged. As soon as you see your seedlings popping up, put them under a light, an inch or so from the bulb.
I like to bottom water the plants to avoid disrupting the roots. To do this I put the cups or trays into another tray or container, and fill that with water to be soaked up into the cups through the holes in the bottom.
As the seedlings grow, adjust the height of the light so that the plants don’t get too close to the bulb and get burned.
Here’s what’s growing in my kitchen at the moment…
Nasturtium. I plan on putting these close to my broccoli and cabbage, and maybe my tomatoes and cucumbers as well. They will help to keep the pests away. Plus, the blooms are edible.
Pimento Peppers (front). I plan on canning these for making pimento cheese and some other stuff. Balloon Flowers (back); just for fun.
Tomatoes. Here’s a tip: If you are planting more than one variety of tomatoes, don’t write the name on a label and stick it in the container with the seedlings. You may end up moving stuff around, or dropping the label, and then you won’t know which is which.
Yeah. I did that.
And now I’m not sure if my seedlings are “Delicious” or “Brandywine Pink”. Oh well. A tomato is a tomato, right?
It’s better to either write on the individual container, or stick a sticky label on it, so it doesn’t come off.
(Photo on left) Lavender, Cilantro, Marjoram, Sage. Here’s another tip: Don’t start seeds of different types in an egg carton. If they have different germination times you’ll have some coming up before the others. The seedlings which have emerged need to be put into the light immediately, and the seeds still germinating do best in the dark, and there’s no way to separate the two to accommodate them when they are in an egg carton.
Yeah. I did that too.
Always learning as I go!
(Photo on right) Sweetpea Flowers. Again, for fun. They are supposed to be climbing vines with beautiful blooms on them.
Oh yeah, this reminds me of one more not-so-great thing about using egg cartons. Notice only four of the Sweetpeas germinated? This means that only four out of 24 spots in those cartons are being used. Which means a bunch of empty cups taking up valuable space underneath the grow light. Yet another reason to plant your seedlings individually.
Chives. Hoping they transplant well.
(Left) Basil. (Right) Globe Artichokes. Really, really, really hoping the artichokes do well. We LOVE artichokes!! Not sure how they’ll do in our climate, they might end up being an annual instead of a perennial, but I sure am gonna try!
Here’s everything back under the lights. After I took these photos I worked on transplanting the tomatoes and peppers into larger pots. I’ve started hardening off a few things in the cold frame outside over the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be putting more stuff into the garden by the end of the week!
So, what’s growing at your place? Got a new recipe to share? Learn something new this week? I’d love to hear what’s going on around your homestead, so be sure to link up!