One Beginner's Experience with Seed Starting.

There are so many things in which I am a novice. A beginner. Sometimes I feel like I have just enough knowledge on a topic to be mildly successful. 

For example, I consider myself a home cook with a bit of aptitude, but am still learning more every day about real foods and cooking from scratch. 

I also have found great success in my garden, and grow more food in my backyard than John and I could ever eat in one season. So, I can and preserve food, and give away what we cannot reasonably consume. You might be surprised to know that I have never started my own seeds. 

Nope. Never. 

I usually buy my starts from the FFA at the school I used to teach at - tomatoes, peppers, herbs of all sorts, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower, cabbage, and more. The students did a fantastic job, the plants were always healthy, and the cost was very, very reasonable.

This year I will continue to buy my tomatoes and peppers from the FFA program, but I will start 90% of my garden's plants at our homestead in the city. I am a beginner in every sense of the word, and I am excited to share my experience thus far with you!

But first, I had to find a space. This one would do nicely:


(Don't judge my nasty basement. We had a substantial amount of water in our basement early last summer, and the floor just hasn't looked the same since.) 

Then using supplies that we had around our homestead in the city (twine, hooks, fluorescent lights, sawhorses, plywood, etc.) I managed to create a station in our basement to start my seedlings.

First, I screwed a few hook-like things into the joists of the basement, and threaded some twine through.


This twine will help me hang the fluorescent lights I stole repurposed from John's garage workshop. He has several lights in there, and he's in Alabama right now, so I figured he wouldn't mind if I borrowed them for a few weeks.


Then, using an extension cord and power strip, I tested everything out, making sure everything would work perfectly when it was time to start my seeds.



To start my seeds, I am using a combination of homemade newspaper seed pots and purchased seed trays.



Then, I basically got down to business planting:


It was messy, but I had a great Pandora station playing, and got my first round of seeds planted in just under two hours.


Here's what I planted on March 11 - most of which has already germinated:

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers

And I planted the following on March 16:

  • Mint
  • Sunberries
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • And more cucumbers

I will also do a second planting of the following around the end of April or beginning of May for a later summer crop:

  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard

After the risk of a hard frost, I'll plant the rest of my direct-seed varieties, which include:

  • Purple beans
  • Green beans
  • Sunflower
  • Lettuce 
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes (in 5-gallon buckets!)
  • as well as tomato and pepper starts from the FFA kids 

Have you started your own seeds before? Tell me about your successes and challenges. Any advice for me?




2 comments:

  1. You are going to have an amazing garden!

    Last year I was determined to have this big container garden on my patio. I ended up killing EVERYTHING. Should have stuck with herbs instead of trying to grow beets and carrots in little pots:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. My home was looking like this last spring! It is really cool! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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