by Mireille Bourgeois
Well! Let me just say how nice it is to be writing about gardening again. I should have taken my friend’s advice and try growing mushrooms indoor to help tie me over during the winter months for the fun of it. But really, from November to January, time flew, holidays happened, and my posts turned from gardening to the kitchen and cooking.
Now it’s already February 1st and I feel like I’m starting my seedlings a bit late! So I visited the Halifax Seeds website just to look around and ended up buying 65 dollars of seeds.
I bought two types of carrots, peppers, kale, various types of lettuce, two types of beets, and some other amazing things I can’t remember. Between event planning two work presentations, taking and passing my road test and getting my license (!!!), and project managing a construction project it’s been difficult to take the time to pick up my seeds!
I remembered that I have some seeds from last year and some that I saved from fruit and herbs that went to seed at the end of the season. SO, here is a very simple post about getting seedlings started.
Typically the seeds you’d want to start early are tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs that are a bit sensitive to starting from seed outdoors like basil, chinese cilantro, etc. Today I started: tomatoes, sweet and bell peppers, chinese cilantro, thai and sweet basil, summer savory, and parsley.
I got myself a box of those peat moss disks that I find work really well. Beer is optional but personally I find it goes hand in hand with gardening. Just place disks in a short container and add water until it is all absorbed and the disks are about one and a half inch tall.
I don’t have artificial lights to grow a big indoor garden, but I have a picture window in my living room that really heats up the house and a plant stand. Once my seedlings need sun they’ll get plenty there. I use dark containers so that the sun heats them up nicely and make sure they are short so that there aren’t harsh shadow areas to block the sun throughout the day.
Dig two tiny holes in the top of the peat moss, no deeper than 1/4 inches. Place seeds in there and lightly cover with some of the peat moss. Last year I dug them in too deep and I really think it took them longer to germinate because of it.
To create a greenhouse effect cover the containers with cling wrap and poke a few holes for airflow and you’re done!
Keep the seed in a dark warm place for a couple of weeks (I realize the above doesn’t look like a dark place, I’m moving them into a warm closet), until you see little green tips starting to show. Once the green tips show, place in a sunny spot to allow for photosynthesis. When your seedling reach the plastic wrap, it’s time to remove it, you don’t want them to touch the plastic or get damping off syndrome! Airflow is important. Your seeds need more water if the peat moss changes to a light color.
You can keep transplanting them up into slightly bigger pots when necessary until the weather outside is nice and you’re ready to plant them outside. When that point comes, you have to harden them off by bringing them outside during the day and back inside at night. Do this for a couple of weeks and they should then be ready to plant.
Now go get your seeds started!!!