"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indoor seedlings!

Time to see how the indoor seeds are doing now.  I started some seeds on February 25th in my little "greenhouse". I tried using a heat mat with it for the first time this year.  Most of the seeds I started are things I've grown in the past and had success with:

Zucchini, bush 'Black Beauty'
Pumpkin 'Jack O' Lantern'
Basil 'Napoletano'
Sweet Peas 'Old Spice' (I planted them directly outdoors as well)

A few seeds I am trying for the first time:

Delphinium 'Pacific Giants Mixture'
Nicotiana sylvestris 'Indian Peace Pipe' (started by winter sowing as well)
Tomato, pole 'Brandywine'
I left the garden angel nearby, she seems to have helped.

Almost everything had germinated within the first week.  I did notice it was faster than last year without the heat mat.  The basil was first, with the zucchini not far behind.  The delphinium is just beginning to sprout.  The nicotiana seeds were like sand and hard to plant individually, so I'll have to thin them out soon.  I was happy to see how easily they started.
I've since moved some of the zucchini to their own little pots where they will stay until they move outside.   They've already grown their first set of true leaves.
I was happy to see that the tomatoes all germinated.  This is the first time I've ever tried tomatoes from seed.  I'm hoping the seedlings will continue to grow until it's time to move to the raised beds.
I know that the hard part is now keeping everything happy until it's time to move outside.  I've tried to take the precautions to avoid damping off, which I did have a little of last year.  Trying to keep the seedlings moist, without overwatering is one way.  That also means removing the tray cover.  The window they are in is a greenhouse style that gets a lot of sun.  There is a shelf that can be put back in the window that I could possibly hang grow lights from.  I haven't decided if I'll do that this year or not.
The fun will be figuring out where to plant everything.  Between these and all the winter sowing I've done, there will be a lot of plants.  I've already told my Mom and sister that I will have some plants to share.  The sharing part is just as fun for me!
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  1. Congratulations! Looks like a huge success. I was wondering about the heat mat. I need to go out and surround my newly planted seeds with some sort of heat source. It's going to get too cold for the next week but 70s by next week.

  2. Oh just look at all of those cute little babies! Your garden is going to be even more amazing this summer. I am finally getting flats today to do the snap peas, I'm way behind but I guess with the weather as it is, it didn't matter quite so much this year.

  3. Didn't you also have some columbine planted? I was happy to see that my 'Clementine Blue' columbine planter had two little sprouts this week! It's been about 8 weeks since sowing. I chilled the seeds in the fridge for a week, then planted, put them in a window and waited for a few weeks. When nothing happened, I put them out in the garage for a week to chill out there. Then back inside a week or two ago, and now some are finally sprouting. Now I need to tackle the delphiniums and 'Victoria' salvia.

  4. Looks great! Most of my seeds have sprouted, except the bell peppers. The eggplants have been insanely slow. I think I need a warmer area. Is your mini greenhouse one of the self-watering kind? I was wondering if there was some way to use a heat mat or otherwise heat up seeds grown in a self-watering planter. Thanks!

  5. Congratulations!!! Well worth the time. And yesmam, sharing is the best part!!

  6. What did you plant the seeds in (pot wise)? It is something you made or bought?

  7. You need to watch that the tomato seedlings dont become too leggy as they strain towards the light. if they do when you pot them up you can plant them quite deep.

  8. Something I'd love to do but don't know if I have the patience or not. Your seedlings look like they are off to a good start.

  9. Don't you know it! I ask myself this question every time, Where will I put it all? You'll find a spot. Great on the guardian angel. Everyone needs one.

  10. Anna - I think the heat mat was a great success. I hope your seedlings are okay, and I hope it doesn't get too cold.

    Karen - I don't think you'll be behind. It really has been too cold to put them in outside. Ours probably froze. Your little helper will have fun with the peas.

    VW - Great memory, yes I do have columbines. I'm still waiting for them. I'm glad yours started, it sounds like they need a lot of time to germinate. I'll look forward to seeing your delphiniums. Are they the ones you discussed on your blog? Next year I'd like to order those.

    Ginger - I remember the eggplants being really slow last year. By the time they bloomed it was too late. I hope yours produce for you. I'm the waterer for my greenhouse :) I just set the whole thing on top of the heat mat.

    Darla - I know you love to share your seeds and plants. I just shared a bunch of seeds today.

    Dirt Princess - I used little 4" plastic pots that I've saved from other plants. Great way to recycle them!

    patientgardener - Great advice on planting the tomato seedlings deep! Thanks!

    Phillip - Most of these started pretty easily, and they don't take up too much space. We have a pretty small area and I need to keep everything out of our dog and little ones reach.

    Tina - Isn't that true? It does all manage to fit somehow. I know there will a lot more plant purchases before the spring and summer are over, especially since I think several plants won't be alive after this winter. Good thing I have lots of replacements!

  11. Your seedlings look really healthy and full of promise. Can't wait to see the children grow up and bloom!

  12. Catherine, Your babies look great! It is so much fun to see what you're growing- I can't wait to see them in full bloom in your garden! I wish the weather would cooperate with us!

  13. Thanks for your response. We have a super long growing season in Mississippi, so hopefully the eggplants will eventually grow and prosper.

  14. Looks like you're having great success and great fun, too;-) I have seedlings growing, too--just need to get myself organized and post my progress! I am quite behind on my blogging. Keep up the good work girl;-)!!!

  15. Hi Catherine,

    I planted most of my seeds around the same time as you. I think you're right as now is a crucial time to get the air to them on nice days and avoid the dreaded damping off.

    Good luck.


  16. Well this post help because I'm a first time gardener and I have some herb seeds in regular pots, which have not yet sprouted :-( but my cucumber and tomato seeds in my little pellet house are beyond sprouting :-) So I didn't know if i should buy the big pots at like walmart for instances or move them to a regular smaller pot. I found the answer I'm probably going to do the same thing as you, and transfer them into a smaller pot, and wait for the last frost, to move them outside. But here is a question, what kind of soild do you put in your pot with the seeds that already have sprouded, any regular potting mix??? Hopefully you have time to answer Thank you

  17. Lookin' good Catherine. The heat mat sure helps, doesn't it? I definitely think so. I have the hardest problem after germination so if you learn any tricks, please share!! Those little pots dry out so quickly it's hard not to overwater...

  18. Half my kitchen table has been taken over by many little pots of seedlings in peat pots.Pretty soon we are going to have to eat in front of the TV with our plates on our knees.
    I have been promised a greenhouse, and I am hoping to have it by next season.

  19. Grace - So far, so good. I hope they stay healthy :)

    Tessa - I sure hope the weather begins to cooperate. You must really be going crazy with all you've got started!

    Ginger - How lucky to have such a nice growing season. Ours really isn't all that long here, probably why the eggplants didn't have time to finish.

    Jan - I was wondering how yours was going. I know you're ahead of me. Can't wait to see how yours are doing!

    Rob - Nothing more sad than getting them to sprout only to see them die. Hope yours do well for you!

    Cynthia - I'm using soil that is good for transplanting. It's potting soil meant for transplants. That's what I've usually used. Be sure to harden off your transplants before you plant them so they get acclimated to the outdoors. If you have more questions Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots is a great resource. Her blog is on the right side under Pacific Northwest garden blogs.

    Kathleen - I really don't have any tricks :) It does get hard keeping them just them watered just right. Good luck with yours!

    keewee - That's what's starting to happen in my kitchen. Another month and hopefully the house will back in order. I hope you get a greenhouse, wouldn't that be great!!

  20. It looks like you are going to be pretty busy when it comes time for planting. Congrats with all the success you are having with your seeds.

  21. Thanks for the update. What sweet little babies! I need to get mine started soon.

  22. It all looks great Catherine. I'm starting another round of seeds, but most of my others stuff is going crazy. I sure hope we have some warming weather soon.

  23. Groan, sigh - I am SO disorganised this year! I've got as far as chitting my potatoes and buying my seeds but that's it really - I need to leave my computer and the warmth of my office and go get on with potting up.......!

  24. Susie - Can't wait to be busy outside :)

    Sue - I think you're ahead of me, you already have seedlings outside :)

    Melanthia - What will you be starting next? I bet your other ones are big by now. If it ever warms up maybe they'll be able to move outside!

    Nutty Gnome - You still have lots of time. Besides, you've been busy moving boulders :)

  25. I'm looking forward to getting some seeds started this weekend. Your seedlings are looking great!

  26. garden girl - Hope you have great success with yours! Mine are growing like crazy now!

  27. I have a seed starter tray of some kind in the garage, but was remembering how easy it is to use those individual dealies you get wet and they expand, and bought a 72 plant tray with lid. It looks like what you used.

    I'm going to try putting in on top of my refrigerator to germinate.


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