Thursday, January 22, 2009

Planting Seedlings

I posted about ordering my seeds in December. Well, last week I went ahead and planted my onions. I used a gallon milk container and cut off the top and poked holes in the bottom. I planted my whole package of seeds in there and they are starting to come up. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.

Today C.G. and I planted the peppers and herbs. We used small yogurt and styrofoam cups - whatever I had on hand. I am fortunate enough to have a beautiful south-facing bay window in my kitchen which is perfect for starting seeds in. I've done this for the past 3 years and I'm hoping I'll finally get it right this year -it's quite an art! Part of the art involves discouraging children from tipping over the pots or "watering" them with gallons of water. But I guess that's also the fun. I figure I can always just buy the starts at planting time if I don't get any. I believe that the process of planting the starts is worth it just from the education standpoint and the fun (not neccessarily the cost effectiveness). Although I've lost quite a few, I've always had some to plant. I usually just start as many as I have room on my counters and hope for a few of them to make it to planting day. Last year I believe I only lost one or two. I think it's mostly because C.G. was older and I let him plant his own plant to watch grow. It was a sunflower and it actually made it all the way into the garden and it even grew a flower! I was impressed. The flower was tiny and bloomed just a few weeks after we planted it and then died (I think because it was so long and skinny from being grown indoors for so long). The other reason we only lost a few starts last year was because I invested in some shallow tupperware containers to put my pots in. It was a lot harder to tip them over that way and a great investment - I'm using them again this year.

I plan on starting my tomatoes this week or next week - whenever I get a chance. I grow them in the larger yogurt containers cut down to about 2/3 of their original size. It works really good - gives plenty of room to develop deep, healthy roots (unlike most of the tomato seedlings you can buy which are mostly growth above the ground).

I don't believe I'll start flowers indoors this year. I've done it in the past, but I'm going to stick to the vegetables this year, mainly for lack of space.

I love gardens, the whole process is wonderful. From planting the starts, to babying them and transplanting and watering...all the way up to the harvest. And then enjoying the fruits of all that hard work. You definitely enjoy the food more when you've grown in yourself!

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