My First Batch of Babies

As I mentioned last night, I am starting from seeds this year. Here is my first batch, which I moved from their little incubator pods to tiny pots (these were from Sustainable Seeds). My goal this year is everything I plant to start from seeds that I grew.

I don’t know if I will save any money, but I do know that I will be able to use the kind of seeds I want, and not have blight or anything from factory produced plants.

The biggest reason though is that I like spending the time doing it and it’s a nice calming activity.






28 replies
  1. 1
    opiejeanne says:

    Good for you. I start a lot from seed but I have to wait until about March because I won’t be able to transplant them until sometime in May because the ground will not be warm enough.
    I think I see a spinach plant and an onion. I can’t tell what the others are. Oh wait, that’s not spinach, that’s basil. What are the others?

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    It never fails to give me a little shiver of awe when a seed germinates and becomes a plant. I need to get back into that.

  3. 3
    Big Jim Slade says:

    What kind of light are they under?

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    @Mary G: It is the best thing. It always feels like magic to me. I know, science. It still feels like magic.

    @opiejeanne: Looks like they could be herbs. Parsley and/or cilantro. Basil. Maybe dill? Not sure about the one on the end–thyme, perhaps?

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    @opiejeanne: this is all herbs- cilantro, basil, thyme, thai basil, dill, parsley and the can is also cilantro- this weird thing I found on amazon that was pricey but I thought it would be fun.

  6. 6
    frosty says:

    Nice, John. I have two 4×4 “Square Ft Gardening” squares for seeds and transplants, but haven’t progressed to starting my own like this. Maybe in a couple of years.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    @John Cole: Oooh! I did pretty well identifying them!

  8. 8
    satby says:

    I’m waiting to start my seeds after I get back from my trip. They can’t go into the ground before mid-May anyway so February’s soon enough. I’m the meantime I dream my way through beautiful garden catalogs and wish I still had an acre of land.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Cole: Why aren’t you off dong breathing exercises?

  10. 10
    seaboogie says:

    John – this past year seems to be one of so much flourishing for you. Happy for you and thank you for sharing your experience and providing this forum.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    All guaranteed non-GMO?

  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    @John Cole: I see the cilantro in the can is from Back To The Roots. If you haven’t tried their mushrooms, give them a try. Assuming you like mushrooms. You get this kit and a spray bottle and you mist it and get mushrooms. It’s fun and you get something to eat. Fun for kids.

  13. 13
    Mike J says:

    @NotMax: There’s not a plant growing within 50 miles of a human that hasn’t been genetically modified in one way or another by humans.

  14. 14
    Aleta says:

    The grow light makes for a nice feeling too.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    After our dad died, my brother who lives in IL bought one of those topsy-turvy tomato planters and grew a really amazing plant from it. He said he found it very soothing to tend it every day.

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:

    Good for you, Cole! Two questions:

    1) Where did you get those adorable little pots?

    2) Mind if I ‘borrow’ your photo for this Sunday’s Garden Chat?

    (I’ve already ordered a bunch of tomato, strawberry, blueberry and lingonberry plants — but they won’t be delivered here until mid-May.)

  17. 17
    opiejeanne says:

    @John Cole: I live just outside Seattle, to give you an idea of my climate. The nice thing about thyme is that the plant won’t die off every winter. I have a couple of different kinds but the kind called common thyme, thymus vulgaris, makes a small tough woody plant that will give you thyme for many yearst. Last year a rabbit had a nest dug in under the largest one in the garden. We only noticed it after the bunnies were gone. If you decide you need to grow rosemary you may want to confine it to a large pot because it wants to get too big and will crowd out other plants. Basil and dill are tender and you’ll need to replant ithem every year. I’ve never grown cilantro because it tastes like soap to me but I would guess that it’s tender too, but parsley is surprisingly tough. We’ve had temps in the 20s and we’ve had a bit of snow, and a small clump of it in my garden is still fine. It may be getting some protection from the artichokes that I mulched heavily but I didn’t baby it and it’s getting some new growth.

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yarrow: You did. I can’t enlarge the photo enough to tell what things are. Or maybe my eyes aren’t so hot.

  19. 19
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne:

    If you decide you need to grow rosemary you may want to confine it to a large pot because it wants to get too big and will crowd out other plants.

    If he’s growing rosemary, he’ll want it in a pot, so he can bring it in over the winter. It won’t survive freezing, and it’s proverbially difficult to start from seed.

  20. 20
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: We leave ours outside and it doesn’t seem to mind the cold, but maybe it’s that much colder where he is. I have two large pots of it in the garden right now that withstood 14 degrees last winter. The big problem I have with them is that their tap root eventually blocks the drain hole and they drown if I don’t catch it in time. .

  21. 21
    Sarah says:

    That’s wonderful. I’m going to have my first vegetable garden at the new house this year but I’m getting seedlings. Maybe I’ll graduate to seeds next year. I think my cats would just ear them all.

  22. 22
    Skepticat says:

    Remember to protect those babies from Steve. My cats lay waste to any vegetation in the house by snacking on it.

  23. 23
    MelissaM says:

    @John Cole: I have a hard time with cilantro because by the time I get it out (zone 5b,) it bolts, so I’ve given up and just buy it during the summer. I did have papalo one year, and it is rather cilantro-like, doesn’t bolt, etc. However, it is reportedly hard to get started. I scattered the seeds in a pot outside and just watered it, and eventually many took. My friend who gave me the packet didn’t get any, but I think she gave up too soon. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/her.....-2978.html

  24. 24
    Teve Tory says:

    I’ve been waiting for a thread like this because I had a very unsuccessful experience with herbs last year. First question. I had a big window box, good soil, and a whole lot of chives seeds that I just widely dispersed throughout the Box. The seedlings sprouted after a couple of weeks, shot up to thin little Reeds about 2 in tall, and then over the course of the next week thinned out And turned brown. And died. I’ve never tried to grow chives before but I’ve heard they were Hardy plants. I don’t know if I underwater them, over watered them, aphids got to them, I have no idea. Any suggestions about how to grow them would be appreciated. Next question is I have a bunch of small Peat pods not the big ones for tomatoes but the ones that are about the diameter of a quarter and I’m going to start several types of seeds in those like time and peppers and cilantro and dill. It’s fairly humid here because I’m in Florida. Should I soak the pods when I water them or just get them damp? Should I water them every day every other day every third day? I’m kind of new to all of this but I really want it to work out. Thanks if anybody has any help.

  25. 25
    Enzymer says:

    @opiejeanne: @opiejeanne: Rosemary does make a nice hedge/border plant though. Several folks here in central Durham, NC use it that way. Gets about 4′ tall

  26. 26
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Teve Tory:

    I had a big window box, good soil, and a whole lot of chives seeds that I just widely dispersed throughout the Box. The seedlings sprouted after a couple of weeks, shot up to thin little Reeds about 2 in tall, and then over the course of the next week thinned out And turned brown. And died. I’ve never tried to grow chives before but I’ve heard they were Hardy plants.

    Here in New England, at least, chives are very hardy plants — but I’ve been told they don’t like to be babied. Twenty years ago (shortly after we bought our house) I threw some chive seeds into a plastic planter and balanced it along the brick edge of our asphalt driveway. There have been record-breaking nasty winters, dry summers, wet summers, and numerous garden remodelings since then… but the chives continue to come back every spring, in the various ‘problem’ corners where I’ve tucked them, despite getting absolutely no special attention.

    More sophisticated gardeners may give you better advice… but my suggestion would be to take your next batch of seedlings, move them to a sturdy planter, and bring them outside without bothering to thin them. If they *still* fail, at least you’ve got the space to start something else, and you haven’t wasted energy fussing over them!

  27. 27
    MelissaM says:

    @Teve Tory: I’m thinking your chives got too wet. Did your box have good drainage? Chives are the kind of thing I bought once, put outside and that’s it. I may have to trim it back by removing some from the base to keep it in check.

    As for those peat things, they are meant to be put into a cell-type growing container, watered until they swell, then you futz around to loosen the soil, see if it needs more water, then plant your seeds. Seedlings are also rather delicate things – they want moisture, but not too much and not on them, etc. Best way to water is a capillary mat system – google it and you will see some pricey ones, some affordable ones (Burpee, I think, has a planting set that includes the peat soil for about $15-20 in stores this time of year.) Also some “make your own” directions are out there. Essentially, it’s a mat that goes under the base of the seed pots/containers/tray that wicks water and keeps the soil evenly moist. The benefit is, the seedling’s roots start to grow down towards the water, and get stronger more quickly (I think.)

    Good luck!

  28. 28
    Ol'Froth says:

    Make sure you keep potting them up and don’t let them get too leggy by having the light source to far above them. Its a long way to May. I usually start my seeds (Pittsburgh area) in early March or late February. That way they’re a decent size without growing too big when I set them out. Also, don’t forget to “harden off” your plants by putting them outside in a sheltered location for gradually longer periods of time in the weeks before your average last frost date.

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