Home Page Image

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.

~Edward Abbey~

Let's Talk about Starting Seeds

Starting your plants from seeds this year? Are you thinking about it?

Is you mailbox filled with seed catalogs, enticing you with pretty pictures and the promise of perfect (well, nearly) vegetables that not only taste great but are good for you and your family?

Maybe you've never started anything from seeds and are overwhelmed by the multitude of information out there. Or you are an experienced gardener and have your very own, tried and true system. Either way, I hope I can offer some suggestions to make your seed starting fun and simple this year.
I am convinced that seeds are smart and know when it's time to grow despite all that we do to them. I tossed some containers of potting mix with failed seeds on the compost some years ago, just to return a week later and have little plants waving at me from the top of the pile!

Direct Sowing

Probably the simplest and most popular method of starting seeds. No special tools or equipment is needed and one does not kill plants during transplanting. Perfect!
Most flower and many vegetables and herbs can be started this way. Check instructions for planting depth, some seeds may require light to germinate. Sprinkle seeds and mark the location, One year, I was pulling out helleborus seedlings right and left, thinking they were weeds.
Pickier plants or plants with long growing season in a cooler climate are better started indoors. Possibly the biggest challenge is Mother Nature herself, direct sown seeds are fair game to all the garden critters.

Winter Sowing

Protect your seeds from wildlife and grow them in their own mini-greenhouses. What a fun way to re-purpose milk jugs and soda containers. Surprisingly enough, all but the most tender annual and vegetables can be started this way.
Cut a jug in half and fill the bottom with moist potting mix, add seeds, replace top and set somewhere out in your garden. You may want to label the containers but it's not required!

If the jugs are particularly ugly, hide them under some shrubs somewhere out of sight. Out of sight is also fun because it will feel like christmas when you are trimming and weeding in May and come across a forgotten jug full of seedlings - ready to be planted out in the beds.

Indoor Seed Starting

A sunny windowsill or a spot with a bright light is all one needs. surely, there's fancy seed starting kits, even your local home supply chain will have the seed starting kits located enticingly right by the entrance or exit. Stop, do you really want to contribute more to our mountains of plastic waste? Repurpose your existing containers.
Egg cartons, plastic containers that fruit like strawberries come packaged in, pots you already own; they all will make perfect containers for indoor seed starting..

Fill with damp potting mix, sprinkle seeds and cover with a plastic baggie or wrap to maintain humidity. As soon as seedlings emerge, remove the cover and let your plants breathe. When proper size, let them get used to outside light and temperatures in a sheltered spot before settling them in their permanent homes.


February in the Garden:

Plantable Giftwrap:
Seed Disks :
Natural mosquito repellents that work