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Indoor Seed Starting

I started growing some of my seedlings indoors using the paper towel method that I read about at The Dirty Radish here and here. She refers to it as seed sushi, which I just love to say. Rebel that I am, I decided to start my rolls in lidded Pyrex (which I am obsessed with and own tons of) rather than plastic bags (which I detest, because we have a policy of washing and reusing them and it is a hassle). After a day-and-a-half, I realized that this was a mistake. The rolls dried out way too quickly with the greater air circulation between the rolls and the lid. I am a totally newbie at gardening, and though I have done obsessive amounts of reading, I really don’t have much practical experience yet. So, enter the first of many mistakes I am sure to make!

Now ready to actually follow the guidance of others, I sanitized a plastic bag (yes, I actually used my nemesis, bleach) and put the rolls in there, as I should have done from the start. That did the trick! I still need to spritz the rolls about twice a day, but now they never totally dry out.

I am tickled with this method. At one week in, the eggplants and jalapenos were almost free from their seeds and the bell peppers had little root tails. At a week-and-half-in, I was able to plant some of my seedlings. The only bust so far is the rosemary, which is notoriously hard to grow from seed, so I don’t feel too bad. Out of 12 seeds, only one shows the slightest sign of growth.

Thrifty girl that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to buy labeling sticks when I ran out of the craft sticks I had on hand, so I cut up the lid of a large yogurt container and wrote on the pieces with a Sharpie.

Below is a picture of my set up in the basement with a mix of seedlings in potting soil and seeds still emerging with the paper towel method. The light chain isn’t very long, so I’ve got a combination of the seed tray, egg cartons, and wood stacked under the heat mat to get the seeds close enough to the light. I keep my spray bottle of water upstairs so it stays warmer and doesn’t shock my little guys by being too cold. The light is on a timer, I’ve got it on for 14 hours a day right now. The heat mat (not visible, it is under the green tray) stays on all the time.

Coming up in the world of indoor seed starting: I’ll do bergamot (the herb, not the orange) and oregano; then tomatoes, ground cherries, and thyme; then marigolds; and possibly lettuce somewhere in there. After that, it will be time to sow the outdoor seeds.


About More Green for Less Green

Hi, I’m Pamm. Welcome to my little slice of the web! As both a pastor and crunchy homeschooling mom, I’m never quite what anyone expects of me. But, hey, that’s what makes blogging interesting, right? Join me as I try to wholeheartedly parent my three little boys, slowly fix up the trashed foreclosure we bought in 2009, and live simply.

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