Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gardening/Starting Plants Indoor from Seed

Photo of Seed Tray Used for Starting My Seeds:

Try Brandywine Heirloom
Tomatoes. Sweet and Delicious!

1. Seeds: Where to Buy Them

You can buy seeds at your local garden center or you can buy them online at such places as Burpee or Park Seed. Even Walmart sells seeds.

It's easy to get carried away with all the possible selections for seeds . Some women love to buy clothes, but my passion is buying seeds. It's so hard for me to choose. Gardening is such a passion of mine it's hard to limit myself.
So before you get overwhelmed with the selection of different seeds like carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers in a dizzying array of colors and varieties, make a list of what you really will eat and the amount of money you want to spend. What are your real preferences? Be sensible.

After you've made a list of your choices, you must consider the actual space you have in your yard. If you only have room for a small garden, limit yourself to just a few plants you really enjoy. Read the instructions on the package. Remember, plants grow so they will need to have ample space in between.

2. Growing containers. I start my seeds indoors in those black plastic trays with the clear plastic lids. They provide a nurturing growing environment for newly-planted seeds. Walmart and Home Depot Garden Centers sell them. If you are careful, you can wash and reuse the seed tray and compartments to use again next year, which saves money.

3. Soil: Only use sterilized potting soil.

4. Fill each cube with potting soil and push one or two seeds into the soil and water. Not too much or too little. You never want to drown the seed or plant as it will rot the roots and it will die. Check the soil each day. If it is dry, then water it a little. If it still feels wet, don't water. In my opinion, over-watering is worse than underwatering.

Multi-Colored Sunflowers I started from seed.

When they grew too big for the seed tray container, I transplanted them into an empty water gallon jug.

5. Transplanting: Like all GROWING things, the plants get too big for their own britches! Your hardy plants will need to be transplanted into bigger pots. This could get very expensive if you went out and bought a bigger pot for each plant. So I wash out old water gallon and milk gallon containers. I just carefully cut off the top portion where the cap and the handles are. Then I fill them with sterile potting soil.

To transplant: Carefully take a small spoon and wiggle it around the entire perimeter of the cube of the seed tray for the plant you wish to transplant. Make sure to get out the entire square of dirt with all its roots from your original plant container. Then dig a small hole to accommodate in the potting soil in your water gallon or other container. Be certain to provide enough depth for the roots of your plant. Then place your plant in the hole, fill around it will potting soil and water it. Usually I plant more than one transplant in the water bottle because it has a lot of room. Plant only the same varieties together. In other words, plant all pansies in one water gallon jug. All tomatoes in another.

Heirloom Brandywine Tomatoes started from seed and then transplanted into water jug

Cucumbers started from seed and transplanted into water jugs

Some of the other seeds I have started are:

Brussel Sprouts, Lavender (beautiful smell when you rub the leaves), Basil, Greek Oregano, Dill, Cosmos, flower, Pansies, Romaine, and Iceberg Lettuce, Carrots, Arugula, Jalepeno Peppers, and Bell peppers in a variety of colors.

I hope you enjoy gardening as much as I do. Please email me with any questions at

copyright 4/1/08

1 comment:

Jason said...
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