Seed Starting Season: an exercise in going overboardPosted: March 9, 2013
I’ve already started strolling through the garden centers. Frequently it’s just the employees and myself. There’s something so awesome about taking in a big whiff of greenhouse air…aaahhhh (nerd alert). What’s going on in those greenhouses you may ask? Not even the pansies are on display yet. Don’t let this scare you. It’s seed starting time!
This year, I made a real effort to avoid seeds that were GMO (genetically modified organism). Most of my seeds came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. If you’ve never looked through their seed catalog – you’re missing out. It’s like reading a magazine.
Most tomato seeds can be started inside 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Here’s the list of tomato seeds planted today in my sun room:
Yellow Pear (it’s yellow, it’s small, it’s pear-shaped – end of story)
Cherokee Purple (huge, purple and really true tomato flavor)
Green Sausage (green and yellow streaked paste tomato)
Snow Fairy (tiny 1 foot high cherry tomato plants used in containers. I’m going to flood my garden table at the fair with these beauties. To the girls that won last year – you better be scared)
Dakota Gold (determinant yellow)
Bush Beefsteak (determinant red)
Big Rainbow (big red and yellow striped)
Delicious (apparently this set the world’s record in 1986 for a 7 lb, 12 oz fruit)
Black Cherry (dark purple cherry)
Green Zebra (the name says it all – these are super delicious and attractive)
Roma (typical paste tomato)
Csikos Botermo (nickname “queen of the summer garden” – Wait! I thought I was queen!)
These tomatoes will supply 3 different gardens. The run run rhubarb mini urban garden, my mom’s, and my in-law’s. A couple of years ago they grew 100 tomato plants! So…that means that 160 tomato plants aren’t truly excessive. Right?
Here are a few seed starting tips:
Never, ever, ever let your seedlings dry out – they will croak!
Use an organic seed starting mix
Use vigilance! Mold will sneak up on you. Keep the air moving in the room. On super warm days I crack the door. If you get mold… (insert helpful tip here). I wish I had something handy to tell you. It would be some sort of genius, organic method that left you feeling like the victor. I usually just prefer to panic and search the internet for random ideas. Sometimes you can fix it. Sometimes you can’t. Heartbreak is just a part of gardening *a single tear drips down one cheek*
Water from the bottom. Watering in the tray as opposed to on the dirt will prevent flooding the seeds or the seedlings. If you use peat pots like I do, they’ll soak the water right up.
I’ll keep you posted. Lets face it. What else do you have to do between now and May? You’ve already seen every single Netflix series worth seeing and the Real Housewives are never going to get along. Why not give seed starting a try.