Successfully Starting Seeds Indoors

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last year I successfully started my tomatoes, peppers and more inside! Granted, I started them way earlier then I should have, but I don’t regret having 3 foot tall tomato plants at the start of the planting season! Starting seeds indoors is a HUGE step up from my old methods of purchasing whatever plants I could find in stock or even winter sewing. I believe all methods are great ideas so long as they work for you and you get a garden going.

My scrambling in planning always starts with something like this:


After my initial excitement of coming across a display like this, I start my garden planning. My basic planning has stayed the same. I make notes each year in my garden journal to help remind me what worked and what didn't work. I still have my same setup for starting seeds indoors again this year, but I have added some new pots for starting as well as adopted two new thoughts on starting seeds inside.

IMAG0429My new containers are a bit smaller so I can squeeze in more plants. Woowho! I was considering adding a zillion more tomatoes, because if you’ve been around my blog long you should know my love for tomato variety. Instead I refrained, stuck with the basics and moved some herbs and other warm loving plants inside.

My two new innovative ideas is to NOT fill the container with soil to the top. As the seedlings grow, I am filling in soil. This has helped to reduce my shallow root issues with most of my plants. My seedlings are stronger! My other idea is to start my companion planting inside as seedlings. This mostly pertains to my tomatoes. I have planted an herb called Borage next to each of my seedling tomatoes. When they move outside, they will stay together.
So I started out with the above photo. Moved on to this:



And quickly this:


Now I’ve thinned out my plants and they are between 2 – 5 inches tall depending on the plant. I’ll have to get on updated pictures. I’m having a hard time getting my Orange Peppers started any growing though. Very frustrated with them actually. Not sure why they are fighting me so much.

My cold frame is also spilling over with plants!


So have you started plants inside early before?
any awesome tips to pass on?
This post is linked up to the Tuesday Garden Party over at An Oregon Cottage. Head on over there to check out more awesome gardener's, tips and ideas.


Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

Your plant starts look great, and I like the colorful plant markers you are using in your containers! I couldn't get any peppers to germinate this year, and I've had success in other years past, so I feel your pain. I'll have to buy a few starts when it's time to plant them outside.

Clint Baker said...

Here from the Garden Party, can't wait to follow and read more!

Susan Zentmyer said...

My seeds were started outside this year, but haven't been doing all that well. We normally have pretty warm April weather here in San Diego, but I don't think this year was quite warm enough for seeds. Yet. ;-) Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

Neat system you have. I've started sweet peas from seed, but started them right in the containers I want them to grow in outside.

Sparkling said...

I used to start seeds indoors and I have old fashioned radiators that they would sit on and just grow like crazy. But then they'd get so leggy trying to grow toward the light. And I wanted to start way too many plants for the living room radiators.

So I invested in a real, live greenhouse and it's the best investment I have ever made. This is my 2nd spring growing and my first full year (winter really didn't let me do much, even in the greenhouse, except for broccoli and swiss chard) and I am proud to say that for the 2nd summer, i have started every one of my plants myself. Nothing is store bought except the seeds. And I've even started flowers. I've learned that i might just have to start flowers inside and then move them to the greenhouse if I really want flowers by memorial day.

Now that i have the greenhouse, I have also started using some things that I would have used without it, if I'd been smart. I keep all kinds of plastic containers that have covers (like spinach, store bought cookies, etc) and then I used them as mini greenhouses within the greenhouse. If I didn't have it, I would use these little, portable cold frames outside between the time I start them inside and the time it's warm enough to plant. They are also completely portable for those suddenly cold nights when you don't expect them. My issue with inside was that there was never enough room.

Winnie said...

I will try this next year. I started my herbs from plants again this year and made an herb garden. I didn't have luck the few times I tried it in doors, may be the light issue. I am growing tomatoes and peppers also from plants this year. Thanks for inspiring me.

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