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Starting Seeds for Spring

March 11, 2012

If Spring isn’t on your brain already….well, what’s wrong with you?

This past Saturday was warm and sunny and was such a great reminder of the spring days ahead.  And definitely got me in full swing garden mode.

First up…a little organizing.  I went from this.

seeds for spring

To something a little less chaotic and completely free to make.  Nothing too fancy, but much better than my American Eagle shopping bag that housed all this stuff last year.

Seed organizer

Then my nephew and I got busy and started some seeds…but just a few, since the majority of my seed-starting won’t be for a couple of weeks.

peat pellet tray

To start my seeds I use seed starting trays with peat pellets that I get at home improvement stores.  I have no loyalty to a specific brand and feel the majority of them do the job just fine.

They come in round little discs in which you have to add warm water so they expand fully.  The directions are always on the trays….you can’t really mess this part up.

peat pellets with water

After the pellets have fully expanded, you just drain off the excess water and then pull the netting away from the top and fluff up the peat.

Then you throw in some seeds.

We went for broccoli and leeks.  We want our broccoli plants to grow inside under lights for at least a month before they go outside.  They are a cool-season crop so they can be planted outside around a month before the first frost (mid-May here), give or take a week or two.  Of course Mother Nature always controls this game.

broccoli seeds, leek seeds

With the leeks…I really should have started them a while ago as they typically need much more time to grow inside under the lights.  But we’ll see, you never know when the weather will play on the side of your ‘poor’ planning rather than the ‘proper’ planning.

Look up your local state extension for great tips on planting times – this is also a good resource for when to start seeds (and about everything else).

starting seeds indoors

So after fluffing, the seeds can go in.  I do about 2 per pellet and push it in gently with a toothpick and then cover with peat and pat gently with a butter knife.  Really can’t mess this part up either.

Seed Starting tray

To prep for germination, put on the lid and then set away from light and on a warm surface.

seed tray

I typically set the seed tray on top of a few towels that sit over a heating pad, which is on a timer that turns on a few times briefly throughout the day.  I’ve never gotten really technical and measured the temp in which they germinate and the success rate, etc – but I’ve always been happy with my results so I stick to my routine.

seed tray

Then we cross our fingers and wait for germination, which can occur in a few days or even up to a couple of weeks.  I expect these guys to be up in about 5-7 days.

Once they are up, I’ll show you what I do next. 🙂

Are you starting seeds inside this year?  

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2012 10:00 am

    What a great inspiration for springing into gardening action … love your article …


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