This spring, I am very nervous….this is my first garden I am planting.
I have dabbled unsuccessfully in container gardening and managed to grow one pea plant at our old house a few years ago. We are spending a lot of time and money preparing our house, building raised beds, getting seeds, etc. and not even knowing if I CAN garden? My husband is putting a lot of faith in me, I hope I can live up to it.
Spring Time is apparently time to start seeds indoors. Our last frost date is around May 14th and so for most plants that need to be started indoors, I am at the perfect time. Looks like I may be a few weeks late for starting tomatoes from seeds, but I am going to try it anyway.
Last Friday I got very anxious and wanted to start planting, I had saw a few cool ideas for recycling old egg holders and paper towel/toilet paper rolls into planting cells and so I figured to give it a try. My daughter really liked helping me put the dirt into the egg carton and she even got to put a few of the larger seeds into each cell. The dirt I used was old Jiffy Tomato starting growing mediums that I had crushed up.
To make the toilet paper cells, I cut four slits at one end about 1″ long, then folded over all four sections and tapped it. When it is time to transplant, I am going to take off the tape and plant it directly into the ground; the toilet paper roll is supposed to decompose.
After everything was planted I put it into an old Rubbermaid tub that I had with a solid white top and then put it in our sun room to start growing.
I felt good, I had my first few seeds started and then I realized that it was only the first round of seed starting indoors. Most of what I am planting needs to be started now and then a second round needs to be started about 4 weeks prior to frost date. Problem: I need more toilet paper rolls and more dirt.
The next day, we took a family trip to McGuckin’s in Boulder where they were having a sale on all seeds and seed starting stuffs…. my lucky day. I picked up some specific organic seed starting mix called Black Gold Seedling Mix and a bunch of plastic seed starting cells in 2″ and 1″ size depending on what I am growing. And some trays with clear covers to create a green house while the seeds are germinating. I also picked up some seeds for carrots, parsnips, and radishes.
We headed home and planted some more of the same seeds that I planted the day before, now it is going to become a science experiment of which dirt works best and whether recycling old paper products for seedling cells is better or to just go with the plastic store bought stuff. Only time will tell, in fact about 7-14 days is the most common germination period. I will report back. My hypothesis is that all will sprout, but the plastic cells will do better in the long run because the egg cartons will be too shallow to tomato and onion roots to take hold before I get to transplant them.
*side note, when I was transferring the egg carton from the Rubbermaid to a plastic tray with clear top, it was very moist and almost broke apart. I think I will be glad that I switched to the plastic cells. The toilet paper rolls seem to be holding up.**
I have used an old wire shelf in our covered porch as our greenhouse. I am keeping a close eye on the temperature. At night the sun room gets down to 45 degrees, so I bring in the trays of seedlings at night. During the day it gets up to about 76 degrees, which from my readings seems to be optimal temperature for germination, again only time will tell.
After getting everything planted and labeled, I feel great and very hopeful!! The only problem now it that I am not sure how much or how many I should plant; this year I am just guessing.
I have planted Roma Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Onions, Parsley, Oregano, Green Bell Pepper, and Orange Bell Pepper