I’m excited to try something new this year by starting seeds indoors. This accomplishes a couple of things:
- It gives me a little bit of a head start in terms of flowers and
- It gives me something that feels like gardening during the months when I can’t do much outside.
This is a win/win in my book.
I bought these seeds from Floret a few weeks ago – zinnias, poppies, and snapdragons (oh my!). Except for the eucalyptus which I’ve never tried growing before, I have had a decent amount of success growing all of these. Poppies, snapdragons, and sweet peas are definitely cooler season annuals which should do fine until June at which point the zinnias should be taking off.
The next thing I did was ask the Google about seed starting kits and this Burpee self-watering kit had the best reviews. I was able to pick one up at my local Home Depot for $20.
The interwebs also suggested using a liquid fertilizer once the seeds germinate and start really growing to ensure a strong, healthy root system. I also grabbed some garden labels, a small watering pail, and a few peat pots for plants that might need a little extra room before I can plant them outside.
For the cool season annuals, the seed packets recommend starting the seeds indoors 8-12 before the last frost. In my neck of the woods that is usually around April 15th. So yesterday I gathered up all my supplies and got started planting.
I started by reading the directions on the back of the box.
Please. I know. Don’t say it.
Even though I’ve been gardening most of my adult life and have grown a multitude of seeds in my garden, I’ve never started seeds indoors so I figured it was worth at least a passing glance.
One of the main reasons I chose this kit is because it comes with this self-watering mat. One thing I do know about starting seeds indoors is that having the appropriate amount of water is crucial. Too little and the seeds won’t germinate. Too much and they’ll be susceptible to damping off (a disease caused by pathogens that kill or weaken seeds or seedlings before or after they germinate). Supposedly this mat will help alleviate this problem.
This kit also came with these little pods of growing medium. So I set up the mat and try as directed, then added the water to the cells and waited for them to soften and expand.
The kit provides this little wooden tool to help fluff up the moist growing medium. And in the spirit of full disclosure, this was a bit of a tedious and time-consuming processes that required some patience.
Next up I planned out my cells. It worked out that I have 12 cells (2 rows) of each of the seeds I had planned to plant. For the sweet peas, I planted one seeds in each cell.
But for the others, which were SO TINY, I **think** I got a few in each cell. But to be honest, I’m not really sure. So when they start to sprout I will just thin them out to one plant per cell.
Finally, I added the water to the base tray and placed the dome on top of the seed tray. They suggested putting the tray in a sunny location so I placed it near by back door which gets lots of sun this time of year. Depending on the temps outside, I might need to move them if it starts getting too hot.
So that’s it. I’m excited to see what happens! And I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried anything like this. Any tips or trick I should know?
As always, thanks for letting me share my projects with you!