March 22, 2009

Starting Seeds

Last weekend, I planted some of my heirloom seeds indoors to give them a head start. I used cardboard egg crates and toilet paper tubes as my containers. After saving these for a few weeks, I had plenty, and they are biodegradable so I can plant them directly into the ground with my plants.

I planted spinach, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, celery, early peas, tomatoes and cosmos. Neal also planted some yard bean seeds left over from last year. He used old potting soil we had lying around and I used fresh, sterile potting mix from the garden store. I was paranoid about doing something wrong with my heirloom seeds, and I had read that it is imperative that you start with good, clean soil.

We also had to purchase a fluorescent light set up from the hardware store because that was one thing we just didn't have. We did have the chain, though, and Neal used it to hang the light which can now be easily raised as the plants start to grow.

We set up our indoor garden in an extra bedroom, not far from a window so there is natural light. We are leaving the fluorescent light on 12-14 hours a day and we anxiously check for new growth several times a day. It is so exciting to see new life emerging from our miniature garden. Neal woke me up this morning singing, "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and I rushed to check on our seedlings before even making my coffee! And, as I was typing this post he walked by and said "Get your clothes on woman. We've got farm work to do!" I think we may be a bit obsessed.

The lettuce, radishes and cabbage have really taken off. The spinach and early peas are starting to pick up production and there is a cosmo or two sprouting. And, see that large sprout in the black pot on the left? That is one of Neal's yard beans planted in "old" soil. There are a couple more beginning to pop up as well. I can hear him saying, "Told you so" with a smirk on his face!

The tomatoes are depressingly slow. Tomatoes are so finicky, especially in this climate, and I am scared I will fail at getting them started properly. I planted four varieties of heirloom tomatoes and only three seeds have sprouted so far. I know it's only been 7 days, but I am so anxious and the anticipation is killing me! I'm not sure I can make it 8 more weeks before actually planting them in the ground!


Anonymous said...

oh, all those seedlings in their little containers!! i love it! you have quite the set up with the lighting, too... i bet that room will smell so green and yummy once the seedlings really start to sprout!

Susie McCoy said...

Waiting 8 weeks to plant will be made easier if we actually get real Colorado spring weather this year. I am still hoping for the snow, but losing faith that it will come this year.

My sister has an old african violet planter stand with three shelves and florescent lights (at least it used to) that she is looking to get rid of if this would help your gardening quest.

Give those tomatoes a'll do great.

Lilla said...

Susie, the tomatoes are sprouting...yeah! It is so exciting to watch these little buggers pop up from the soil. And, yes, we do need more "moisture" here in Colorado, but things aren't looking too promising. I'd love to hear more about your sister's plant stand. I'll send you a private email.

Daune, the room doesn't smell all that great since it's also the room with the cat litterboxes in it! They have been quite curious about the whole setup and I've seen a few sprouts pulled out of the pots, so I've blocked the area from little kitty feet! Ahhh, the smell of kitty litter and potting earthy!