Seed Starting Craziness

You’ll never guess what I did all last week!

Well, okay – maybe you will. After all – I have admitted to buying 63 packages of seeds – in addition to all the tomato and pepper seeds I mail-ordered. 🙂

SeedYes, I’ve been starting seeds.

Many, many of them!

Four kinds of tomatoes, sweet peppers, lots of the amazing Tam jalapenos, a new purple jalapeno, the dreaded ghost pepper, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and 2 kinds of broccoli.

Oh – and several herbs too!

Seed flatsI got the plastic seed trays and inserts last year at Menard’s for half price.  We weren’t sure they would make it two years – but a little strategically placed duck tape should help us make one more season!

I got a good potting soil from the Amish store since my friend Carolyn said it was the best!

Once the seeds are planted the only thing I need to do is keep them moist. That’s the easy part.

Things get a little trickier when they start to sprout! Then they need light and warmth and lots of it.

I prefer using sunlight – but with this many plants started, we don’t have enough southern windows! Thankfully we do have 2 grow lights to use.

Then I water, rotate and generally fuss over the seedlings.

The object is to keep them alive and healthy until the temperature is right in the garden to take them out.

Sometimes I need to re-pot them into bigger containers so that they have room to keep growing.

Once the weather is warm enough to get them outside during the day – we take the flats out and sit them in the sunshine.

hardening off plantsMaking sure they are well-protected from marauding chickens and cats, of course! This “hardens”  them off and prepares them ready for the real world – the garden.

So why do I go to all the trouble to start my own plants from seeds? After all – I could just go buy them.

For one thing – it saves us a lot of money. When you plant in bulk – as we do – the cost of plants adds up. The over 50 tomato plants growing in my basement now cost us pennies, yet they will hopefully yield a year’s worth of spaghetti sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce and salsa.

Then there’s the variety. It’s so much fun choosing new kinds of seeds to try! Besides – the only way I can grow the wonderful tam jalapenos is if I buy the seeds and start them myself!

But mostly – I just love doing it! 🙂

I’ve linked this post up with the Tuesday Garden Party over at An Oregon Cottage.

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3 Responses

  1. So very jealous! I am just doing flowers this year. Supposed to be another hot and dry summer so not putting out the effort!!!

  2. I love this! You are going to have a really wonderful garden this year with so many great starts to plant out. I have some lettuce starts that I am hardening off as well. Need to get them planted out, under plastic for those colder night temperatures, and soon!

  3. Wow, you have been busy getting ready for a wonderful vegetable garden. My garden bunnies would love to come visit you!