Posted by: chroniclesofgrace | June 16, 2011

Seed Starting 101

Several months back, I started the seeds I had purchased last year with great hopes on a new endeavor.  I decided that the best place in my home for my seeds was the laundry room.  I had planned to take a picture, but had camera issues the past few months.  I cleared off a large shelf in my laundry room and hung a shop light from an upper shelf as inspired by this picture.

I planted my heirloom, non-GMO seeds (veggies & flowers) in flats and placed a  plastic cover over them until they started sprouting.  With the chain, I was able to adjust the height as my seedlings began to grow.  Because our house was on the market, I opted not to poke more holes in the ceiling and just hung it from an upper shelf with s hooks.  I dutifully spritzed my little seedlings with a spray bottle once a day(sometimes twice if the soil looked dry) and all seemed to be going well….

And then it just wasn’t…The flower seedlings began to shrivel up and eventually died.  Everything else looked ok, but the growth seemed to be stunted.  Looking back, I misjudged the amount of warmth & head in my laundry room and should have given them more water accordingly instead of just following the directions to a T to spray them once or twice a day.  Then, we went out of town for a weekend.  I placed them in a sunny window with lots of water since I wouldn’t be home to turn the light on and off.  Lost some more plants.  Around the end of May, as the weather began to warm up, I began to put them outside for an hour or so at a time.  Each time I did, they seemed to look more pathetic.  Finally, knowing that we would be going out of town for Memorial Day I decided that like it or not, they needed to go outside because no one would be around to water them and at least they’d have the drip system outside.  My heart sank as I tried to plant the most sickly, pathetic, tiny seedlings in the garden beds.  I also directly sowed some flowers, herbs and green bean seeds.  Then, while we were away, our mountain town received some late SNOW…not much, but enough.  By the time we got back into town, there wasn’t much left of what I had planted. 

This week turned warmer and I went around town to our local nurseries trying to find replacement plants so that my garden would not be a complete loss this year.   I came back with my plants to discover that a bunch of the green beans that I had directly sown were coming up with the warmer temps…and so were some of the flowers….and two tiny tomato plants that I had counted out seemed to be revived…Everyday Graces indeed!

I went ahead and planted the ones I had bought in and around the seedlings, but now it seems there is some insect that likes my bell pepper leaves even though I had planted marigolds and alyssum in the beds to try to ward off the bad insects…Only time will tell what my crop will be like this year.  Right now the sugar snap  peas seem to be doing well, as well as the melon I planted this week.  I also have pumpkins, 2 cucumber plants left(out of 4), strawberry plants that have a bloom or two on them, replacement tomatoes, cilantro and basil.  After it’s 3rd year, our apple tree actually has little apple buds growing!  Trying to remember that it is all a learning experience, that any food that we get from gardening is food we don’t have to purchase and we know it was grown organically.  Overall though, after studying the pioneers this year, I am so grateful for the Everyday Grace that my family is not dependent on my gardening ability for our survival. 

How is your garden growing?

Blessings!
-J

 

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