More seeds starting

Now that I've gotten my cold-tolerant seedlings out of the house (for the most part), I've got room under the lights for more seed trays.

I love starting plants from seed, and no matter how many times I've done it, I always get excited by the emergence of little green leaves in the seed starting mix!


The first wave of seedlings consisted of mainly leafy greens like lettuce and tatsoi, while this second batch contains a few warm-weather edibles, a couple of annuals, and several perennials.

I love the anticipation of growing from seed -- not knowing when exactly the first tiny plants will break through the soil's surface.

Basil. Must grow basil. So quick to germinate.

This year I'm trying a coir-based seed starting mix in addition to the peat-based mix I usually use. So far I really like it. It's got a fantastic texture:

Part of the excitement of seed starting for me is trying new plants:

The new seeds are surprising sometimes...

Calendula can be the germination time, which was only 2 days for this purslane:

Sometimes it's the happiness of seeing a seed that's a few years old successfully germinate like this blanket flower:

or seeing those impossibly tiny dust grains turn into a thicket of plants seemingly overnight:

German chamomile

Unfortunately I have so many different seeds that I want to start, but limited room. I need four times the space at least!


But I have a project planned for this upcoming (cold!) weekend that may help with that problem.

I'm just wondering though... where exactly am I going to be putting all of these plants once they grow up?

Never mind that -- there are more seeds to start!

How is your seed starting coming along this "spring"?


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM)  

Wow, so many plants AND such a variety. I can't wait to see where you're going to put them all. Good thing most of these plants will eventually be eaten.

scottweberpdx  – (March 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM)  

I need to sow the seeds I have...I'm such a procrastinator!

Steve Lau  – (March 21, 2013 at 10:16 PM)  

Hopefully you don't get fungus gnats. All it takes is one gnat to lay all kinds of eggs and destroy your entire crop.

I've had problems with them before so I cover up all my plants with plastic lids, or clear plastic bags to keep them out at least until the seedlings are big enough to hold their own.

Alan  – (March 22, 2013 at 5:30 AM)  

Steve: I get fungus gnats every year -- I have yellow sticky cards covered with them. I've never lost a plant to them though, maybe because the infestation is minimal?

Jenn –   – (March 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM)  

What coir media is that you are trying out? I'm curious to see how it measures up.

My little operation is getting crowded too! This cold weather is messing with my sprout/pot/transplant schedule. Doesn't Mom Nature know I have a system worked out?! Ha! I was going to put out my rapini this weekend, but snow in the forecast doesn't sound like good planting weather.

Alan  – (March 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM)  

Jenn: I used the Burpee concentrated seed starting mix -- comes in a "brick". I was hesitant to try it but it was the only thing available on this trip. I'll see how the seedlings do in it and post an update later.

Steve Lau  – (March 22, 2013 at 9:37 PM)  

I'm finding that fungus gnat larvae will only go after certain kinds of seedlings, and I think they may only thrive in very organic soil like the types I use. I've seen them destroy plants such as blueberry seedlings, sarracenia seedlings, and even moso seedlings.

They seem to chew out the stems and roots of a young seedling that is still too small to fend for itself.

Charlie@Seattle Trekker  – (March 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM)  

Seed propagation is such an amazing zen exercise. Planting, watching it break through the soil, spending time fussing over the new plants as they progress. I really enjoyed your photos. Thank your for sharing.

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