Around my corner of the world starting seeds indoors is a must. Unless you have a green house, in which case, you’re off to a great start.
But if you don’t have a green house, like me for example… creativity or capital, is a must!
Since I refuse to spend crazy amounts of cash on trays and those little starter pellets (that totally used to be me guys…) I decided to try creativity this season.
In this case creativity comes in the form of solo cups and some other random dollar store plastic cups. I had some laying around and picked up a few more packs for cheap.
I normally hate anything plastic but I can recycle these and until I can buy this soil block press, here is how I’m getting creative.
(I even tried this Pinterest hack in which you use toilet paper rolls as seed blocks, two words… Epic Failure… You can see below how most of them just plain feel apart.. If you want to give this a shot then I suggest buying tp that’s got a reinforced cardboard rolls.)
But I’m doing good with the cups and I’m ok with that.
Luckily the homestead husband has an awesome set up of some light hoods perfect for starting seeds. Not that I have always done it like this. Don’t get me wrong starting seeds without lights can and does work great, for most seeds.
However, for those finicky starts that tend to be on the picky pampered side (tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc), a little light and added warmth makes all the difference.
For example. Last season I started corn under the lights and it was the first year I’ve ever planted corn, had it grow knee high by 4th of July (to ensure harvest), and proceed to grow 8′ tall! I was astounded when I had tons of silk and cobs, but so to was my horse… Alas she ate them all… I’m sure her belly was full and warm that night. This year she will have no such luck!
My point being that I believe the lights were the key to my success last year. When those corn starts went outside they were stout and hardened off. Ready to for planting. Corn starts in my previous years were lanky and washed out, ending up broken from wind or lack of strength.
(Above: assorted bean starts)
Now that I thoroughly bored you with my corn story… Want to see what else we have started so far?
For convenience I have labeled, in parenthesis, which seed companies I purchased the seeds from.
SSE= Seed Savers Exchange
MTG= Mike the Gardener
TSC= Territorial Seed Company
- Tomatoes: Amish Paste(SSE), German Pink(SSE), Homestead(MTG), Large Cherry(MTG)
- Cucumber: White Wonder(MTG), A&C Pickling(SSE)
- Beans: Cherokee Wax(Ferry Morse), Dragons Tongue(SSE), Calypso(SSE), Black Turtle(Ferry Morse)
- Sunflowers: Lemon Queen(SSE), Velvet Queen(SSE), Taiyo(SSE)
- Peas: Amish Snap(SSE)
- Pumpkin: Small Sugar(TSC)
- Radish: Cherry Belle(TSC)–direct sow (4/15)
- Turnip: Shogoin (MTG)–direct sow (4/15)
- Cabbage: Savoy(MTG)
- Kale: Dwarf Green Curled(TSC)
- Corn: Smoke Signals(SSE), Golden Bantam Improved(SSE)
- Lettuce: Red Iceberg(TSC)
- Peppers: Early Jalapeño(TSC), Purple Beauty(MTG)
- Squash: Black Beauty Zucchini(SSE)
It may seem like quite a lot but this is only the beginning. I am going all in this year and I’m extremely motivated to provide as much food for my family as possible. I’m dreaming of shelves full of canned goods and cold storage packed with roots vegetables.
(Above: assorted sunflower starts… Because their are my favorite… And they do fantastic in my living room window, so I never have to miss out on their beauty!)
Who knows, if I’m satisfied with my gardens production this summer I may put a chicken garden into the works. Wouldn’t it be stellar to have a garden space specially for spoiling our flock of little dinos?
Yes, I totally said stellar.
Getting to getting outside. Get to work!