If you’re getting ready to start seeds for heirloom tomatoes (or any other seed), you need to make sure that you buy something that has “seed-starting mix” in its title. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we used Pro-Mix and Espoma seed starter mix for our seedlings. Potting soil doesn’t cut it if you’re looking to start seeds. If you’re a composter, you can use compost for seed-starting mix as well.
To start seeds you want to make sure your seed-starting mix is wet using warm water. If you’re planning to plant a bunch of seeds, put some of your mix in a big pan or pot for easy access. Fill your containers or flats with the seed-starting mix and then put your seeds on top. Cap it off with more seed-starting mix that is also moist.
If you can create a set-up for your newly planted seedlings, it is best to water from the bottom. This allows the plants to draw up the water, which makes them hardier and prevents overwatering.
Now I have to admit if it weren’t for Cara, our garden may have been squash-less this year. I have a dozen or so quart jars full of squash from last year’s CSA experience. I can honestly say that I was squashed out. However, for the good of the garden, I decided we needed squash. Plus, Cara told me how much she liked squash. And you’ll soon find out what Cara thinks, happens 99.99% of the time. And that’s okay because she knows 99.99% more about gardening than me.
So I planted squash seeds today in the reused fibrous egg cartons. I used the same pro-mix and capping mix as before. I also filled them with pro-mix the day before planting and watered them well before planting. Always a must if you’re starting your own seeds.
You’ll learn along the way how little experience I have with gardening. This is why I was so excited about the workshop.
My gardening history consists of a garden in a shady area behind my garage as a 12-year old. My parents set the space aside just for me. I believe the garden lasted all of two growing seasons. The first productive. The second productive for weeds. I planted the staples (radishes, cucumbers, and carrots of course). I have no idea how these plants actually grew but I do remember eating them.
In order to correct my lack of gardening experience, I decided after my “seed starting workshop” that I was going to dedicate myself to gardening this year.
I am currently employed at Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass in Versailles, KY. We have a very large property (575+ acres) of which 0.5 is dedicated to a teaching garden. This garden has been in place for several years but this year will hopefully be its heyday (is it heyday or hayday?)
It all started with a simple email forwarded on to me on 2/3/2012.
“A friend sent this to me; maybe you are interested?” Of course I was interested!
Wilson Nurseries was hosting a “seed starting workshop” on February 11th. It seemed simple enough. “Get a jump start on your spring gardening by cultivating your own flowers, herbs & veggies from seed. Our experts will show you the basics… how to select seed, grow healthy seedlings and timing for outdoor transplanting. $15/gardener. Fee includes planting flat, soil media, and seed. Get your garden off to a strong start with our well stocked seed, supplies, & instruction.”
I needed to attend. I needed to know the basics. I needed help. So I went. And this is where our adventure starts…