Some people got flowers for Valentine’s Day. My sweetheart gave me future flowers. Future flowers and future food. (I was stoked!)
We kinda dropped the ball on the whole ordering-seeds-from-a-catalog thing.
Fortunately, even big box stores now stock a good selection of organic seeds in their garden centers. That kind of stuff makes up a big chunk of our seed stock for this season. (Next year, I hope to get an order in to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.)
We also have a weird variety of seeds we saved from things we grew and things we got from friends or the farmers’ market last year, including: all kinds of peppers, naked pumpkins, some weird heirloom melon that totally took over our yard and seeds from some delicious and colorful string bean things.
This is our second spring trying to start things from seed. Last year, we started a lot of things too early, during a very cold winter, in our very bright kitchen. Although we diligently left the lights on above the seedlings, opened the windows very early every morning and used a space heater to counteract the draft, the majority of our seedlings didn’t make it.
I attribute the widespread seedling death to:
- Artificial light was too far away from the plants
- Inconsistent temperatures
- Us being too wussy to thin the seedlings we planted too close together in the first place
The other part of my Valentine’s/birthday gift should solve the first problem:
Yay for plant lights!
As for the other two problems: I am banking on the continuation of our obscenely mild weather and the convenience of the old space heater to assist with the temperature issue and common sense to negate overcrowding.
Last year we started by throwing a whole bunch of seeds into all different sizes of pots. This year, we are smarter. We are using egg cartons, which should help us resist the urge to overplant. If Zach will stop throwing them into the compost bin, I hope to start some seeds in eggshells.
As with most things we enjoy (dogs and houseplants, for example), Zach and I have accrued way, way, way more seeds than we will ever need. We also splurged on some exotic species that we probably have no business attempting to grow.
But I just couldn’t resist going for the olive tree. I did swear back on Thanksgiving that we would give this a try someday.
We are already late in getting this project underway, so I will be pouring dirt in eggholes yet today. It’s not too late for advice, though, so please leave words of wisdom in the comments below, along with what you are growing this year.
Big thanks to the love of my life, my friends Jen and Erik and Bear Creek Farms for stocking us with seeds for the 2012 growing season.
The Doodle House’s awesome post The Need For Seed