Starting your own seeds continued . . .
As you can see, my leeks and onions have germinated and poked up through the soil. How wonderful! The other benefit of starting your own seeds is seeing that spring is coming in a very tangible (and hopeful!) way.
A lot of books suggest watering your seeds from the bottom -- where you put water in the bottom tray and let it soak up through the soil and roots. That sounds good, and I get the concept, however after trying it on and off for years I always find that the water doesn't soak up evenly. So you have one side that's managed to get drenched, the other looks like one step from the Sahara desert -- or you'll have 3-8 cubicles that are bone dry. If I water from the top I feel like I have a lot more control and the "failure" rate is zero. I like those odds better. :)
I have started my tomatoes, eggplant and celery. As I've mentioned in a previous post, after starting my seeds (like tomatoes) 8 weeks before the last frost date -- as instructed in books and on the seed packets -- they were only two inches tall (at best) by the time I planted them. Too small. I think this is partly because it was too cold downstairs, but I'm not willing to have mini plants again this year. So -- I'm planting earlier. We'll see how it goes.
Some time this week, I will start my pepper seeds. I am planning on soaking them (for about 8 hours) before planting them. I did that with my tomato seeds and they are already starting to sprout. Exciting!!
It's not to late to start your own! Start small. But, get started!
During school vacation week, it's a great thing to do with your kids. The younger ones can help stir water into the dirt, and scoop it into the flats. The older ones can drop the seeds into the holes that you make (at the right depth). It's surprising to learn how many children don't understand where their food comes from. You don't need a huge garden. Start with a small raised bed, or a small bed along the side of your house, or even some planters on your patio or porch.