If you’re as anxious for spring as I am, you are probably looking for any sign of warmer weather. One of my favorite rites of spring is starting the seeds for my vegetable and flower beds under grow lights in our basement. The set up isn’t fancy, but it’s effective. And tending the seedlings is a great way to get my gardening fix while waiting for official gardening season.
The supplies for starting your own seeds are basic and inexpensive. Planting trays with clear plastic covers like the ones in the seedling photos above are a must. The clear plastic covers come off once the seedlings have sprouted and are about 2 inches high. A good quality seed starting mix, seeds of your choice, and a little water are all you really need. Let the growing begin!
Tomatoes are absolutely my garden passion! I’ve started four different varieties of seeds for this year’s garden: Rutgers’s, an heirloom tomato known for being meaty and flavorful; organic Romas; Juliette cherry tomatoes; and Better Boys, my husband Dusty’s favorite.
If you think you’d like to try starting your own garden seeds indoors, here are a couple of helpful hints:
- Avoid overwatering and saturating leaves and stems.
- It’s imperative to keep your seedlings very close to your light source to prevent plants from becoming spindly.
- Turn the trays of plants regularly to keep plants growing evenly.
Here are some great online sources for starting your own indoor garden. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/starting-seeds-indoors
Starting an herb or vegetable garden can be a great FACS classroom project. If your school has an agriculture or horticulture program, why not partner with the instructor in that program to create a school garden. Extension groups and community garden clubs can also offer great partnership opportunities. In the fall your students can cook and preserve the garden’s bounty. Give it some thought.