Starting Seeds Inside
February 12, 2019
I mentioned in a previous post that I am starting a garden again this year, with the intention of producing a decent amount of food from it. The first step, with regards to the plants themselves at least, was starting some of the spring harvest as seedlings indoors. I have not previously grown my own seeds indoors (I sowed them directly in the ground before), but I wanted an earlier first harvest this year to maximize my output, so I decided to try seeding myself.
I started seeding earlier today, using used egg cartons. My intention is to start the plants in these cartons, growing them in a simple 50/50 mix of compost and perlite. After they produce sprouts and grow for about a week, I am going to transfer them to deeper plastic inserts to continue rooting until they are ready to place outdoors in the ground.
I am planting seeds at intervals, with today's batch being the first of several, and the next batch being started next week. This is because some seeds do better given different amounts of time inside before being planted outdoors. Tomatoes don't need as much time to grow inside and become strong, and indeed suffer from frost too much anyway and should be placed outdoors when it is warm and safe and they still have some growing to do. Certain other plants, on the contrary, do better when they are allowed to mature indoors and planted outdoors when they are stronger. It all depends on the species, your location/growing zone, and (most importantly), the date of the last spring frost in your area.
The actual plants that I will be growing indoors will be somewhat experimental for me. I actually have seeds from two different time periods, one batch bought just a few days ago, and one bought almost three years ago, in the spring of 2016, that I am going to try to grow to see if they are inert yet. In this first interval group I am working with a fast-growing, spring variety of cabbage (new seeds), marigolds for pest control (old seeds), 2 varieties of lettuce (old seeds), a bunch of sweet onions (new seeds), and peppermint (new seeds). In the second batch, I intend to grow 2 or 3 varieties of tomatoes (new seeds), some chile peppers (new seeds), and some swiss chard (old seeds). I will probably also grow more in that interval, and there will be at least one other interval after that, as well.
Thanks for reading. I will keep the blog updated with regards to my garden, so stay tuned if it interests you!