Friday, March 25, 2011

Sowing Indoors for Transplants

It looks like it might freeze Sunday and Monday night.  It IS still March, after all.  Such a tease, March.  Perfect time to start your warm season crops indoors.  Here I did eggplant (because I LOVE eggplant in all its many forms), two varieties of tomatoes, and tomatillos. [The edamame like best to be direct sown in warm soil.  This is our first year for tomatillos and edamame.

I like these biodegradable seed starters.  You can just rip them apart and stick the whole thing in the ground.  I have a favorite potting soil, too.  Happy Frog!  My friend and Gardener Mentor, Brie, introduced me to it.  It has the best consistency.  It is not a sterile soil, which is what is often recommended for starting seeds, but it has always served me well.

The biggest problem with seedlings started inside is legginess.  Something we all wish we had, right?  If the little plants get too tall (as they reach for the light in your window sill, they will flop over and have a hard time surviving the elements out of doors.  If you have a sunroom ... well, I'm jealous.  Just give them as much light as possible for as many hours of the day as possible, even moving them around if needed.

All these seeds take between 7-10 days to germinate, then I'll probably give them another week or two to mature (and for the weather to warm up) before transplanting them outside in the raised beds.

One of my favorite things about this area is the LONG growing season.  Then after the plants are spent by August, we have time before the chill hits for a whole other crop.  Year round planting AND four seasons?  Sign me up!

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