How to Start your Garden from Seed

Monday, March 26, 2018

Are you feeling ready for Spring yet? I didn't use to enjoy gardening in the past, but now every March I get excited just thinking about the new vegetable seeds to try out or flower plants to spread around my house.

The dreamy thoughts of harvesting fresh herbs to add to a recipe or the tomatoes riping on the vine motivated me last month to crawl through the mess inside my garage and find all my last year's gardening supplies.

Remember, the hard work will pay off when you bite that sweet cucumber that tastes nothing like the store ones. When you start from seed, you can also choose among many more varieties and control the quality of your seeds, soil, and water.

At this time of the year, you can plant indoors most herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, onion, cabbage, swiss chard, kale, collards, you name it.

Some other vegetables do better planting straight in the ground like beans, corn, carrots, beets, melons, lettuce, peas.

Some of my favorite places to shop for seeds and garden supplies are the small suppliers who specialize in different varieties, but I also get a few things from bigger suppliers with disease resistant kinds:

1. Baker Creek: the most beautiful and exotics vegetables you may ever see! Their catalog alone is mouthwatering!

2. Territorial Seed: lots of choices and new kinds every year to try out. Many organic and heirloom options.

3. Johnny's: If you want to find a hybrid to target specific problems you may encounter, they offer such options. If you click the "growers library" link you will find all the information you need to plan your garden in your region and what works best for your climate. Check their vast library of informative articles for tips and ideas.

5. Library: check your local library for free seeds available to the public.

6. Herb Sets: if you want to have a good selection of herbs to start, you can get a set with all the ones you need.

7. Vegetable Sets: when you want to try out different kinds and have fun in the process. Love when they are heirloom seeds.

8. Tomato Sets: for the tomato lovers out there who want to get a nice variety of tomato plants.

While I am not expert in gardening, below are my favorite products to grow vegetables or flowers from seeds:

1. Soil Starter: I love using these dried pods because you can store them for years, and then when you are ready, just add warm water (filtered water is better) and watch them grow! They are easy to replant and have all the soil mix needed to start the seeds.

2. Trays: I have plastic trays that keep all the pods organized and just off the bottom so they can drain after each watering. You can also get the plastic top to keep them moist until they sprout or you can cover with a plastic wrap. I got mine at Home Depot but below are similar ones.

3. Growing Lights and Warming Pad: I personally have not used these, but I have heard good things about them. For warmth, I place my trays on top of the refrigerator as our climate is mild enough this time of the year. For light, after my seeds have sprouted and got a little bigger I place them next to a sunny window. If you are growing your seeds in a house that gets too cold at night or has not enough sunlight coming through the windows, you may want to try the growing lights and a warming pad. 


Below are my babies growing! I don't actually leave them outside, it was just to get more light for the picture. 

What are your tips for growing vegetables from seed?

Happy Spring!

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