Starting seeds

I’m at least a week behind when I started seeds last year, but I’m not too worried. Last weekend I got some seeds going, and a few are already germinating as of today (less than a week from planting!). For the first round I stuck to cold-hardy greens and slow growing herbs. And a ton of pansies, just for fun.

In case you missed it, last year I described my seed starting grow light stand here, which was made by my husband out of mostly recycled/scavenged materials for a cost of less than $10. I describe my seed planting process in depth here as well.

Here’s the list of what is on the grow light stand right now:

  • Kale-Red Russian
  • Kale-Blue Dwarf
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Spinach-Correnta
  • Spinach-Bloomsdale
  • Broccoli-Packman
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Giant Swiss Pansies

When I checked on my seeds today, I found that the Dwarf Blue Kale, the Lettuce Mix, and the Chamomile all had some little guys poking up out of the soil. So I’ll be setting up the grow lights on the stand later today. I don’t want leggy seedlings.

The first Blue Dwarf kales are germinating.
The first Blue Dwarf kales are germinating.

I am going to buy several new light bulbs this year, so that each set of lights has at least 1 new bulb (and I’m going to remember to label them on the end of the light fixture so I can keep a consistent rotation of bulbs this time). Some gardeners replace their lights every year. I have only been replacing them as they burn out, but some are at least 3 years old now, and starting to look dim.

Another change I am making to my seed starting setup this year is to add a thermometer. We have an older indoor/outdoor thermometer on which the outdoor sensor broke, but the indoor part works fine. It also measures humidity, which is a nice bonus. This week it has been between 62-65 degrees, and hovering around 32% humidity in the basement room where the grow light stand lives. Maybe a little bit cold for some seeds, but not too bad for these cold hardy types that I mostly have going right now.

Have you started any seeds yet? What are you trying that’s new this year?




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