I admit, I have never had much luck with seeds but last year a friend asked me to grow some seeds for her family cabin garden and handed me a "Jiffy" seed starting kit. How could I refuse? It was so much fun and all the seeds sprouted and she had some flowers that even I didn't manage to keep in my garden! So, this year I picked up a couple of those "Jiffy" starters for myself. So far, I have a couple of seeds starting but germination days are nearing over the average. Last year I didn't really keep track and had more fun with it so I am just going to try to relax about it. Every year, no matter my luck, I start seeds indoors because well, winter just drags on and on and ON and I feel I need to do some type of gardening! So, here is my makeshift set up this year. Of course, two of the starter kits were not enough once I began to get into it and I created some mini starter kits of my own from salad containers.
This is the best window in the house, facing south. Even so, I think I have the same problem I have every year – not enough light. I am using this old clip on light I found in the cellar with a plant bulb in it for extra light. I should really just make a plant stand and use shop lights but I don't really have a lot of room and then I would have to store it the rest of the year. This is the other end of our kitchen (and dining) table. I have all the mini green houses on large plastic trays so I can move them easily if I need to. This also makes it convenient to harden off the seedlings. The tray by the window is sitting directly above a heating vent – very convenient. I have a heating pad under the tray on the table.
There is something so hopeful in seeing a tiny sprout!
I marked a "top" to each Jiffy greenhouse and then made a chart so I know what the plants are. I, of course, planted about ten different things in each one which isn't really very smart because each plant germinates at a different rate. Then again, the hyssop which was supposed to germinate in 10-14 days, came up right away! And only one pot of Scarlet O'Hara Morning Glory germinated quickly, very quickly. I had to take it out.
Meet Super Scarlet! My salad greenhouses seem to be working quite well. Most of my veggies have already sprouted.
I just rotate these around each day hoping to create strong stems. I think the top may have to come off of this one. This year I am starting all of my vegetables from seed including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, brandy wine and cherry tomatoes. I sure hope to see them growing strong in the potager come summer.
Outdoors I have made some mini greenhouses from water jugs and club soda containers. In these I have planted perennial seeds. They're on my covered front porch where I can keep a close eye on them.
So far nothing (sigh), but it is still quite cold here. I figure a few warm days ... These won't have to be hardened off and I want to compare them to seeds started indoors. Hopefully soon, I will not have to buy salad in containers!