March 6, 2011

Starting Seeds

With 6 weeks until our last frost date, and plenty of warm, sunny weather, the clock is counting down to get the garden started. Our seeds are well on their way, with the first signs of spring life appearing.

My first crop of seedlings just popped up over the last couple weeks.  These are greenhouse babies, as one of the perks of working in the horticulture business is you can always find some free space for your own projects. 

In years past I have stuck to only starting herb seeds. The things I use most in the kitchen: parsley, basil, and chives I choose to grow from seed so I never run out of herbs to cut. This year, however, Ive gone a little seed crazy (initially as a way to save money, now I just want to experiment with what I can grow). In the greenhouse, Ive started my usual herbs: Sweet Basil, Genovese Basil, Parsley, and Dill. But, I also added a flat of veggies: Bush beans, Pickling Cucumbers, and Jalapenos.  Everything seems to be up and growing, their cotyledons (seed leaves) just unfurling show signs of the first real leaves. 
 Two flats was the limit of my greenhouse space, and wanting more I decided to try a type of grow box at home. In this flat I started a mixture of some interesting veggies and perennials. When we went to visit Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery in Asheville, NC I could not help grab a few seed from their huge collection. I'm most excited about the tomatoes, an heirloom 'Black Krim' variety from Russia that is supposed to have a unique salty taste. Also at the Nursery in Asheville, I grabbed this great topper for about 1 buck, which fits a standard flat, and in a sunny location its working its magic. No sprouts in these yet, although its been about 10 days. I attribute the delay to the luke-warm temps and rain we've had latley, but they still have plunty of time to build up that energy and sprout.

And then this is where I got a little seed crazy. Watching the birds start their spring courtship made me think of sunflowers. We always have a feeder full of sunflower seeds that the birds devour. I just couldn't resist these mammoth sunflowers. I'm a sucker for anything tall in the garden. Plus I've actually never used a jiffy seed starter. I figured its worth a shot as they are so popular, and the windowsill version was only about 3 bucks.

"Adopt the pace of nature:  
her secret is patience." 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Hi Lisa; Great to see your blog appearing on Blotanical - I always like to see something new.
    Our temperatures here in the UK are a bit milder than yours I think, and my windowsills are already groaning under the weight of trays and pots of little seedlings. If only I had a greenhouse... :(

  2. Hi Lisa, I envy you the greenhouse space. I have had to work with cold frames instead in my Zone 7A garden in Wilmington, DE. So our plant potential must be very similar. For some reason my basil seedlings have started well this year. That is a good thing. I started blogging in January, has been a lot of fun. George

  3. Lisa, forgot to say I tried Black Krim last year. Superb. Even my wife who likes standard red tomatoes wants me to plant Krim again.


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