Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spring Seed Starting

It doesn't feel like it outside, but Spring isn't far away. What remaining broccoli was in the side yard will come out this afternoon and all that will be left in any of the gardens will be the onions, garlic and rosemary. The 18 degree temperatures killed off what remaining radishes and lettuce I had attempted to grow out there, but the soil is frozen solid, so I can't pull out the remains yet.

By last year's calendar, this is when I started my cole crop seedlings to transplant in mid February. I went to my local big box and other stores that usually carry seeds, and contrary to what other people around the country have said, our local stores haven't started stocking any seeds or seed starting supplies yet. It's a good thing I still had some seeds and seed starting medium left over from last year.

Today I started my broccoli (Green Goliath). This has done wonderfully for me in the past and I'm glad to grow it again. I must be a glutton for punishment because I split a flat with cauliflower and cabbage. I've never gotten cauliflower to grow - this will be my third attempt, and my adventure with cabbage was well documented earlier this fall. I figured one more go and then I concede defeat.

The cabbage is Green Gonzalez. The description read it had smaller heads and was conducive to intensive or raised bed gardening, so it was worth a shot.

I mixed together some potting soil and seed starting medium and filled two 9 hole cell packs that I saved from last year. I put two seeds per cell being that they were last year's seeds and I was banking that they'd sprout. I did forget to wet the soil down BEFORE I put the seeds in their places, so I'm hopeful things will still go well.

Next, I covered the flats with a plastic bag and put them on the kitchen counter until they germinate. Once they germinate, I'll throw them in the basement under the light set up. It's pretty darn cold out there, but the light does give off some heat.

In a few weeks, I'll start my lettuce mixes in cell packs. I'll run short of space under the lights, but hopefully by that time, the broccoli will be able to spend some time outside in the sun during the day and the lettuce can be pampered under the lights.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. uh-oh.... you southerners are starting up already... guess I better dust off my grow lights and start preparing! We aren't far behind ya here in VA! Good luck with your seedlings, can't wait to see pics of them peeking their heads up!

  2. No seeds in stores here, either. That's ok, I have tons leftover from last year. Peat pots, seed starting mix, and those little peat pellet greenhouses are at WalMart, though.

  3. Not here, EG. I was lucky to find a tiny bag of potting soil. I'm thinking in a few weeks they'll be ready.

  4. I keep telling myself I should start to pay attention to what I was seeding last year and think about starting some up. I'm doing a serious Queen of DeNial act here, though. Good for you.

  5. I started seeds today also. And I'm now totally out of those condensed peat pads. I planted the first plants of celery, peppers, and onions. I am in desperate need of potting soil. I may have to make my own.

  6. I envy the fact that you can transplant these crops so early. It will be a few more weeks before we start sowing anything here.

    Do you generally germinate your plants in the dark? I know some people always start under glow lights but I never understood how that would help if the seed is not exposed to the light.

  7. Thomas, I do most of them in the dark or under some sort of cover. I think some lettuce needs light to germinate, but I haven't found it the case for the majority of what I grow.

  8. I have nearly all my seeds and am anxious to start. Have you ever tried germinating seeds putting them on a damp paper towel and inside a plastic bag.

  9. Hi Di! Yes, I do that for peas and beans. These others are just too small for me, so I do them in cell packs.