Saturday, February 13, 2010

Seed Starting 2010

The growing season in this part of the country is approximately 240 days long so getting seeds started early was a priority for me this year.  I'm attempting to keep up successive sowing on things like lettuce, radishes, and carrots so we can always have something ready to harvest.  I'm still waiting for my seed order to get here.  I ordered the bulk of  what we need from a Virginia company called Southern Exposure Seed.  They had so many organic and/or heirloom varieties to choose from that I was overwhelmed with indecision.  It was made more difficult by the fact that nearly everything they do carry are plants that are known to do well in this area.  Many of the seeds descriptions explained how well they do in many of the conditions we face here as gardeners; drought, heat, sandy soil, humidity, and so on.  At final count I was near 30 varieties!  That doesn't even include the sunflowers or marigolds still need to pick up, or the ones I still have on hand, OR the seedlings I know are going to taunt me at the market.  Between me, and our new green thumb housemate, this place is going to be a garden oasis in the middle of a city.

I also couldn't help picking up a handful of packets at a local nursery a few weeks ago. Some radishes, 2 lettuces, dotted mint - which looks like it's going to be gorgeous, and Moon&Stars watermelon.  I just couldn't resist the little paper envelopes covered in pictures of delicious produce - something we are sorely lacking now during SnowFest 2010.  With that, plus leftover seeds from last summer, I was able to get a couple of trays started.  I put 5 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and the watermelon in one, and two lettuces plus five kinds of herbs in the other.  

The lettuce was the quickest to shoot up so I pulled them out to chill on a recycled plastic food tray by the front windows.  Once the rest catch up they will all go back in their little green houses until they are a bit bigger.  

Jules likes to come out in the mornings to check on the plants while he watches me open the curtains for the day.  It's fun to talk about what we are going to grow and how we care for them.  He likes to ask what they are going to be and tell me how he's going to eat them.  We're reading a lot of books about plants, gardens and farms right now, it's the closest I can get him to green right now. 

Once the seed package arrives I've got two more trays to fill, plus leftover seedling containers from plants we purchased last year.  J, our housemate,  gave me a grow light so our living room will soon look like it's own little garden center.  I just hope the sun comes out soon, the snow is just to dreary for the green I'm dreaming of right now.

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