Planting Indoors

I mentioned a while ago that I started some seeds inside the house on a growing table. I thought it would be great to share a bit of the process of starting seeds indoors. 

I have fairly ambitious plans for gardening this summer. Our backyard will be the home of my flowers and potted herb garden and our vegetables will be planted across town in a second garden belonging to Rysio's parents. The herbs will be kept in pots to ensure that things we are eating are coming in contact with nasty pesticides or chemicals that might be contaminating the soil in our backyard. 

To start off the process I do a lot of research that I jot down in my gardening notebook. I've been keeping this little journal about my gardening adventures for two years so I can look back on what I've learned. I write lists about what plants I'd like to try and what seeds I will need to purchase. I research planting instructions and any additional information that will help me out. Other valuable information is which plants go well together, for example, planting tomato and marigold together will deter pests that destroy delicate tomato plants.

It's easy to lose track of where things are planted. I had some extra clothespins around so I decided to use them as my labels. They have worked alright so far but sometimes when they are bumped, when I am watering or rotating trays, they bounce off and I lose track of where they belong. 

I collected various "experimenting containers" like toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, milk cartons and coffee cups. I also went with two types of traditional seed starting containers, plastic ones and organic ones that you can plant directly in the ground once the seedling is ready. So far the egg cartons have been the most successful but I would only recommend them for plants that grow slowly and need only a small amount of root space. 

Filling the containers and planting all of the seeds took about three hours. Even though I had help from my roommates, this part took a lot longer than I expected. We put our seedling soil mix in our mop bucket and used the trowel to mix in the water so the soil would be damp. The soil soaked up a surprising amount of water. 

Once the containers were full of soil I placed the seed packets on top of the containers so I would have a rough idea of how many containers would be allotted to each plant. I really surprised myself with how organized and meticulous I was about the process. I'm usually a lot more casual about things but I figured since I would be putting so much effort into this endeavour that I should probably make sure I was doing things correctly. 

We planted on April 2nd and two weeks later we had quite the little garden growing. These photos were taken on April 15th and are a little out of focus. Things are a lot more lush these days, even after a small aphid attack which decimated the swiss chard and probably the parsley and dill. I have learned a lot of things. I wish I had listened to my friends who suggested bringing the lights closer to the plants, especially during their first few weeks. I didn't listen because this made watering the plants inconvenient but it would have made their stems (and the entire plant) stronger. This seemed to have the biggest effect on the brussel sprouts, dill, lettuce and carrots. To deal with the aphids I picked off the critters I could get to and sprayed all of the plants twice a day for a couple of days with a homemade solution of warm water, unscented castille soap and grapefruit essential oil. This worked well although I'm not sure if the leaves of the zucchini squash were thrilled with the misting as some of them have brown spots and have begun to shrivel. 

Some plants I have not started yet because they benefit from direct sowing outdoors, they are peas, beans, poppies and nasturtiums. Since our last frost date won't be until mid-May I am waiting until I return from Poland to take care of them. The flowers I have started indoors are mostly thriving, the most successful are Zinnias, Marigolds, Calendula and Lupins. It remains to be seen if the Forget-Me-Nots will grow any larger. I am going to start tomatoes and peppers that are started in a nursery so they will have the best chance of survival. I also might try to find some dill to supplement my weak looking plants because it smells so great when it is fresh and I'd love to go and clip some from the garden to cook with this summer. 

Will you be planting anything this year? Do you have any suggestions for me? 


  1. I can't believe how much work it takes. You will receive so much beauty from this project.


« »

Ursa and Alces All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger