Monday, March 30, 2009

Seed Starting

Over the past month I have taken over the workbench in the corner of our basement for my seed starting project. Here you can see my little setup: down below are newly planted seeds, covered and on a heating pad to keep them toasty warm. Up above are the sprouted seedlings and some newly planted seeds that require light to germinate.

In years past, I only had a few containers with a couple tomatoes and some basil. This year I am planning an actual vegetable garden and a small herb garden. So far, I have started Purple Opal Basil, Lemon Basil, Genovese Basil, German Chamomile, Greek Oregano, Lavender, Calendula, Mint, Parsley, Echinacea, Red of Florence Onions, Alexandria Alpine Strawberry, Yellow Alpine Strawberry, Fresca Strawberry, Little Gem Lettuce, and Swiss Chard. In the coming weeks I will be starting a few varieties of tomatoes, more lettuce and ornamental flowers. The rest will be sown directly into the garden.

I realize that it would have been easier (and perhaps more logical) to buy some of the more slow growing varieties as already-started plants, but I really have a hard time paying for something that I can do myself. Plus, isn't a big part of gardening about the process? This may be a little difficult for me because I can be a bit impatient and like to see immediate results. However, it is interesting to see all the various sizes and shapes of seeds and seedlings. If I would have gone out and purchased plants I would never have known that some seeds, like oregano are the size of a grain of sand, while others, like calendula, don't look like seeds at all, but petrified spiny worm-like creatures.

Several times a day I venture downstairs and scan the little peat pots, looking for new growth. It makes me practically giddy to see those tiny little sprouts pushing their way up through the dirt. Even if I have to wait a year or two for some of the plants to flower, I think it will be more satisfying in the end. Or maybe more frustrating. I guess I will find out.

P.S. Did I mention that the actual gardens are not even built yet?

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