Thursday, March 21, 2013

Signs of Life

I can't believe how quick spring crept up.  The house is starting to fill up with things breaking out alive!  For my garden this year, I'm growing veggies from organic seeds and so far, so good!  My germination rate has been stellar so far.  I'm not quite sure why, though, to be honest.  The lettuce sprouted only in three days, thyme in four, and cherry tomatoes in five.  The lettuce look leggy but it's probably because I kept them under the plastic cover away from the window for too long after germination. So today, these babies are getting a window seat upgrade without the top cover.  Crossing my fingers!

I don't have any of the sophisticated growers' gadgets such as growing lights and heat mats.  My germination rate seemed pretty high so far with just laying the seed tray on a dry towel, on the kitchen counter, away from direct sun.  So far, the process has been easy on me, but I guess it's still a little premature since I have the beefsteak tomatoes, jalapenos, and lavender left to sprout.

So here's what I've done so far:

1. Plants get most of their nutrition and food from soil, so it just makes obvious sense to feed baby plants the best healthy stuff.  I planted my seedlings using Dr. Earth Root Zone Starter Mix organic soil-less potting mix bought at a local nursery.  I have not seen Dr. Earth products at Home Depot, Lowes or Walmart.

2.  I followed the sowing instructions on the seed packets.  I put 2-3 in each cup with the thought that if one fails to sprout, at least I'll still have back ups. :)  I will trim to 1 seedling per cup once the second set of leaves appear.
3.  I water with a spray bottle.  I sprayed once in the morning and once at night.  I have been reading that once they've sprouted, you start watering from the bottom so that's what I'll start doing.
4.  These are probably way too elementary, but label your seedlings and get a transplanting trowel.

And that's really just it.  I cannot believe I spent $5 on each start last year when it seems more economical (and more fun!) to do it this way.  If you're also a newbie like me and you happen to be reading this post, and if it already feels spring where you live, but it still gets below freezing some nights - then you should be growing your hot weather plant from seeds indoors right now!  GO!  

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