starting seeds 2014

It’s spring!

And it’s the start of another growing season. I’ve started several seeds in my new seed starter kit. It includes a heating mat, which provides warmth to help the seeds germinate if your indoor space isn’t warm enough especially when you put it in front of the window or balcony door as I have done.

This is not my first time starting seeds. I’ve used a seed starter kit before without a heating mat. It was placed in front of a window – west facing. Germination was a success.

This kit also includes a tray of 36 cells with soilless pellets, a tray to manage water, and a tall dome. I like the tall dome because some of these seedlings can get tall before it’s warm enough to transplant them to larger pots and place them outdoors.

The seeds I’ve planted are from Baker Creek, purveyor of heirloom seeds. Some people poo-poo growing heirlooms because they are tricky to grow, prone to disease, and may not produce as much fruit especially when compared with varieties that have been bred to be strong producers. I personally like to grow heirlooms because of the interesting varieties that are available. I find this to be true especially with tomatoes. One of the packet of seeds I’m excited about after learning about it is the Blue Beauty. A tomato variety with blue skin! I’ve seen and ate tomatoes of different colors but never blue!

Blue tomatoes! I’m curious as to how they will taste. What’s even more interesting is how they develop their blue color.

photo from Baker Creek website

I started all of the tomato seeds last weekend. We have five different kinds of tomatoes started. They have not germinated yet. Each cell was planted with 3 seeds each. You never know if the seeds will sprout so it’s good to plant a few seeds in a cell and a couple of cells of the variety. If you want a good yield, it’s best to plant multiples of a variety. They you thin them out so you eventually end up with a single seedling in each cell.

Besides tomatoes, I started ground cherries, and a couple of pepper varieties. I love growing peppers. They are the easiest crop to grow at least from my experience with starter plants. I think they’re even easier to grow than tomatoes. This year will be the first time I’m growing them from seeds. Will they be equally as easy to grow from seeds? I guess I’ll eventually know. I also have other seeds to start as well like beans and cucumbers. I’ll need to get another seed starting system or just start them in plastic containers that I’ve collected for the purpose of starting seeds. In any case, I will be having a productive weekend preparing the balcony for growing edible plants.

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