Monday, April 11, 2011

Seeds are finally started! Phew!

Starting our seeds and preparing for our garden has been a giant task looming on my to-do list.  Today, we finally got ourselves organized and found a few hours to start the majority of our seeds.  The kids were ridiculously excited.  Dirt in the kitchen?  It doesn't get any better than that!

Am I supposed to drink that?

Despite my problem with plastic, we used red plastic cups for our seed starting.  Last year, we used primarily recycled plastic containers from food but because we are buying so much less in plastic we didn't have anywhere near enough this year. The red cups make me shudder, but they are inexpensive and effective. I'd love to use to peat pots but they were out of our price range. I know there are options with newspaper, but I have heard generally negative reviews from people using those. Eggshells and egg cartons didn't give us enough room for growth before transplanting. I plan on rinsing and reusing these cups for at least a second year to cut down on waste, and luckily we use them for such a short period of time that I'm not going to focus on all the chemicals in them!

Once all the seeds were planted, we set them all up on our shelf with grow lights in our guest room upstairs. We need to buy two more light fixtures to add to the bottom two shelves.

And then we watered, which I think might have been my little guy's favorite part. The smaller little guy was napping by this point.

Of course, there are still more to start.  We ran out of seed starting mixture, so we need to get some more to plan our green beans in cups.  We also have to start all of our herbs in their pots.

So we have a lot more to do, but at least we've stared and we have a plan!  Part of what made it so overwhelming is the sheer amount we are planting.  What were we thinking?!!  Buying seeds in the dead of winter when your garden hopes are what's getting you through until the weather thaws may not be the best idea. We were a little.. ambitious.

Here's our plan. In our garden structure that we built last year we'll have strawberries, green beans, two varieties of peppers, spinach, two varieties of lettuce, kale, two varieties of eggplant, carrots, cauliflower, and two varieties of tomatoes.  We are clearing out two beds in the back of the house and building less protected raised beds and hoping for the best when it comes to animals.  In those we will have zucchini, watermelon, and two other varieties of melon.  We're going to play with some hanging pots on our front porch putting additional kale, spinach, and lettuce in them just to see how it works out.  We are also ripping out some ornamental grasses from a large mound in the backyard that separates our house from the church.  There we will be planting two varieties of sunflowers, both for decoration and to attempt to harvest seeds. Finally, in pots on our back and front porch and around the house we'll have our herbs: parsley, chamomile, lavendar, rosemary, cilantro, chives, thyme, basil,  oregano.  

I'm at the point in the garden process where I begin to freak out about the work and money we are putting in wondering if we will get anything for all our efforts.  I felt similarly last year, and we were very happy overall.  This year we are expanding and trying some new things so we'll just have to see how it goes!  So we're off to buy some hanging planters, organic seed starting mixture (we mix this with compost to start our seeds in), additional shop lights for grow lights, and materials to building our new beds. I'm tired just thinking about it!


  1. wow! You really are my hero

  2. I can't wait to see how it turns out! I wish I had more garden space.


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