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Another great way to identify seedlings is with repurposed popsicle sticks. You can also use tongue depressors, which are a little wider and allow for a little more creative space. Here is a batch of seedlings from last year’s garden that was planted by Second Street in Frankfort, KY.
This is also a great excuse to eat lots and lots of popsicles. If anyone asks just tell them you’re creating seedling ID markers. You’re welcome.


Another great way to identify seedlings is with repurposed popsicle sticks. You can also use tongue depressors, which are a little wider and allow for a little more creative space. Here is a batch of seedlings from last year’s garden that was planted by Second Street in Frankfort, KY.

This is also a great excuse to eat lots and lots of popsicles. If anyone asks just tell them you’re creating seedling ID markers. You’re welcome.

Light (HTW Tip)
To make sure your newly planted seeds receive enough light, there are a few things you can do. You can use fluorescent shop lights. Even better, if you have the resources available to construct a greenhouse or cold frame, your plants will receive natural sunlight. You can also start your seeds indoors in a window. However, Ms. Maruskin explained, “natural light from the average Kentucky kitchen window in March does not COMPLETELY satisfy the light requirements of tomato plants.” Incandescent light bulbs will not work. These light bulbs are typically found in lamps/lights. 
Make sure to turn off the lights at night so they plants will have a period of rest. If you leave the lights on 24/7, the plants become confused and end up performing worse than if you would’ve given them a little rest at night.

Light (HTW Tip)

To make sure your newly planted seeds receive enough light, there are a few things you can do. You can use fluorescent shop lights. Even better, if you have the resources available to construct a greenhouse or cold frame, your plants will receive natural sunlight. You can also start your seeds indoors in a window. However, Ms. Maruskin explained, “natural light from the average Kentucky kitchen window in March does not COMPLETELY satisfy the light requirements of tomato plants.” Incandescent light bulbs will not work. These light bulbs are typically found in lamps/lights.

Make sure to turn off the lights at night so they plants will have a period of rest. If you leave the lights on 24/7, the plants become confused and end up performing worse than if you would’ve given them a little rest at night.

Transplanting (HTW Tip)
Transplanting occurs when seedlings become too big for the container you have started them in. If you have started multiple seeds in one container, it is best to transplant them to their own individual containers when they have two sets of leaves. The first set of leaves you see from your seedling will actually be their cotyledons or their embryonic leaves. True leaves will begin forming as the second set of leaves. With tomatoes in particular, its true leaves will be serrated while its cotyledons are simple (not serrated). 
Transplant your individual plants to individual containers that are bigger. Make sure to create drainage holes once again and feed your newly transplanted seedlings with fertilizer. Also remember to label your plants as you go so you do not become confused as to what plant went where. We all think we know what plants are what until you become distracted and realize you have a bunch of seedlings and no idea which is which.

Transplanting (HTW Tip)

Transplanting occurs when seedlings become too big for the container you have started them in. If you have started multiple seeds in one container, it is best to transplant them to their own individual containers when they have two sets of leaves. The first set of leaves you see from your seedling will actually be their cotyledons or their embryonic leaves. True leaves will begin forming as the second set of leaves. With tomatoes in particular, its true leaves will be serrated while its cotyledons are simple (not serrated).

Transplant your individual plants to individual containers that are bigger. Make sure to create drainage holes once again and feed your newly transplanted seedlings with fertilizer. Also remember to label your plants as you go so you do not become confused as to what plant went where. We all think we know what plants are what until you become distracted and realize you have a bunch of seedlings and no idea which is which.

Seed-Starting Review (HTW Tip)

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.

Squash

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.

Workshop

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?)

Starting seeds at Wilson Nurseries (Frankfort)

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…

(Source: wilsonnurseriesky.com)