Starting Seeds

It is SO nice to finally be doing a gardening post!  We have an incredibly short season where we live (10 weeks frost to frost) so gardening here can be a challenge but we have found things that work for us and we really enjoy it.  Someday we hope to have a green house to extend our season and our options.  But for now we are scrambling just to get our outdoor garden built before planting time.

I’ve watched as everyone else has started their seeds and even planted outdoors, while I sit in the still-winter climate and wait anxiously patiently to start my own.  Well the day is here!

While I have had tremendous success with my outdoor veggie gardens, I have not had success starting plants indoors thus far in our 8 years of vegetable gardening experience.  Some years I didn’t even bother trying, other years I tried and continued to fail miserably.  I think part of it was that I didn’t have access to south-facing windows in our houses, nor space for lighting the plants or anything.  I did try them by our only south-facing window in our last house.  The window was small and in the dining area.  Still failed.  Though, the kids and dog knocking over the starting trays two different times probably had something to do with it.  But hey, we had 6 people (4 of who were under 7 years of age and not really aware of the frailty of seedlings) and a large dog living in an 900 square foot space – there wasn’t space for plants!

So now, living in the new-to-us house with huge south-facing windows in a spacious living room, I felt inspired to give it another go.  My husband, in his wisdom about my frustration of past failures, decided to try to get me started on what will hopefully be a more fail-proof first step.  I asked him to get me seed starting trays and such and he came home with this:

103_0019“Our EASIEST Seed Starting System.”  Yup, I hear you loud and clear, honey.  MAYBE I can get it to work this year.  🙂

So I followed the easy, step-by-step instructions and planted 4 parsley and 6 cabbage (still more space for other things later) in this set-up today.

103_0022And in the process I asked my husband what table he thought we should put in front of the windows for the seed-starting area.  The folding table?  One of the end tables?  He said, no, he would go up to the shop for a bit and see what he could come up with.  He took our oldest son with him (he LOVES helping in the shop and with hubby’s shoulder out of commission he was going to need help).

They came down about an hour later with this really pretty, perfect height, perfect size table to put in front of the window.  I totally thought they were going to use scraps and put together something temporary just to get me through the next several weeks.  But no, they came down with a beautiful wood table that will now probably become a permanent part of the living room decor.

103_0021It was a very nice surprise and I am very happy with my seed-starting area.  I’ll be adding more plants to it for the next several weeks.

Oh, I also went to the library today and got 7 different gardening books, hoping to look through them and possibly glean some knowledge on why my seed starting attempts keep failing.

It felt so good to be working with some dirt – even if it was just tiny cupfuls of just-add-water pellets that turn into dirt.  🙂

7 thoughts on “Starting Seeds

  1. It is so exciting, isn’t it? It is still not planting time here but my seedlings are out on the front (south facing) steps as we speak, just soaking up the sunshine. Good luck with yours and Happy Spring!

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  2. It finally got here. It always does. Spring just seemed to take longer getting here this year. My 2 favorite gardening books are; FIRST, my 1977 copy of “Crockett’s Victory Garden” from the original BPS TV show, minus the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that he so liberally used. This book is set up by month. Everything you should be doing in that month, planting, preparing, thinning, harvesting and much more. SECOND, “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. I use this one mainly for his spacing suggestions. And I read anything I can on growing naturally, organically.
    It is exciting. Is it sad that this is what excites us now? Pattigail you are retired and I’m trying real hard to get there. There is a line in one of my favorite movies “Second Hand Lion” that goes something like this…. “We”re retired, this is what retired people do, they garden.”
    Ed

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    • I love the book Square Foot Gardening, its the book I learned to garden with. I’ll have to check the library for the other one, the month by month thing sounds great.
      I also love the movie Secondhand Lions! Such a great one. It is permanently in my collection. Do you wear the outfit like they did in the movie when they did what retired people do?

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      • No. I do not wear their outfits. But, I live next to a rather large wetlands area (swamp) and most of the evening gardening is done with long pants, long sleeve shirt. gloves and an extremely funny looking bug hat (bee keepers hat). The neighborhood kids go screaming for their mothers when they see me. I HATE MOSQUITOES!!!!
        Ed

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  3. 10 weeks? Lordy, you are a strong soul. I think I’d wither (or freeze solid) in those conditions. I’ve got to stop complaining when something goes wrong in my blessed little patch of the world. When my seedlings get eaten or dug up, I just plant more. The growing season is so long (lettuce and plenty of plants actually grow in the ground all year) and I get multiple crops from most plants. I can’t imagine the pressure you feel. Good luck with those “easy” seed trays.

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