Seeds and Seedlings

Starting from Seed

One thing I’m still trying to get the hang of is whether to start seeds indoor or direct sow them. When I’m supposed to start them indoors, I’m good. It’s the other guys that are a problem; the plants that I’m supposed to direct sow. My success with direct sowing seeds isn’t awesome. Especially when it comes to the small seeds. I mean, some seeds are ridiculously small.

But I always give it at least one shot. So in mid-April I prepared my two raised garden beds. I had a bunch of seedlings that I had started indoors. I put those in first and was pretty satisfied with myself. Then I planted the seeds. I had it all planned out beforehand. I had made a map of my garden bed with every seedling and seed location. The map was complete with a grid and a legend. It was quite impressive. Unfortunately my seeds couldn’t care less about my beautiful map. It’s a month later and the only seeds that have germinated are the squash, corn, beans, peas, basil and marigold. If that seems like a lot, it’s not considering how much I planted.

So I’m starting a second round of seeds indoors. I have a “greenhouse” (i.e. a plastic tray with a cover) and a seedling heat mat. I used a seed-starting mix that I got from the nursery. (Someday I hope to replace this with vermicast from my worm composting – more on that to come in a later post.)

Now, the big question is, what did I plant the seeds in? In the past I’ve tried peat pellets and peat pots. I could write an essay on why I don’t like them, so let’s just say, I didn’t use them. This time around I tried something new: a soil blocker. I’m an overnight fan. First of all, this thing is super fun to use. There’s something satisfying about pushing down on a handle and having 2″-cubes of soil pop out. On top of that, exactly 50 soil blocks fit perfectly in my greenhouse. It was clearly meant to be.

2016-05-22 11.31.41
best. purchase. ever.

It’s been a week since I planted my seeds and I’ve got 20 seedlings so far. I’m happy. That will graduate to super happy once I get all 50 seedlings.

2016-05-20 19.34.07
One week after planting my seeds.

Right after I took the picture above I removed the seedlings from the greenhouse and put them in a separate tray. I’ve been putting the tray with seedlings outside as much as possible to make sure they are getting enough light and won’t get too leggy.

2016-05-22 11.23.57
Seedlings!

So that’s where I’m at. Waiting for my seeds to sprout.

 

… And of course, waiting to someday own chickens.

2016-05-22 11.24.27
baby oregano
2016-05-22 11.25.06
phlox

p.s. – In case you’re interested, here’s the list of seeds I’ve planted:

  • Borage
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Husk Berry
  • Lemon Catnip
  • Lovage
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Phlox
  • Poppy
  • Quinoa
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Summer Savory
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
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