We got another four inches of snow the other day. Sigh. But the seeds we planted indoors are doing great! It's amazing how much they have grown just since last week!
We had awesome germination this year, compared to other years. I think it was because I used a heating pad underneath the seed tray for a few hours each day. Not one of those expensive heating mats made for seeds, mind you, just a normal everyday heating pad set on low. So far, I have only started lettuce and kale seeds and I am not yet sure if I will start anything else from seed. Starting tomatoes for this year is out unfortunately; it just isn't going to work with our time away this spring. When we get back I may start pumpkin and squash seeds indoors, just to get them germinated and give them a little headstart.
The seedlings are easy to take care of and it is a lot of fun to have little green things growing inside when it is still too cold to do any gardening outside.
My Daily Seedling Care Routine
- Water the seedlings. I like to use a spray bottle because it is easy to control. I used to use a watering can, but they tended to get swamped.
- Rotate the seedlings. As I water, I rotate the cups around the tray so they are in a different place each day. The cups are fairly well centered under the lights, but I like to give them all a chance to be *right* in the middle.
- Fertilize the seedlings. Once a week, instead of using the spray bottle, I feed them some fish emulsion from a small watering can. This stuff is kind of pricey, even at the local farm store, but I find a little goes a long way.
And that's it! The seedlings are under their light 14 hours a day. The lights are set on a simple timer so I don't have to worry about it. Because believe me, if the seeds depended on me to remember to turn their lights off and on, they would either be totally fried or trying to walk across the room to the window. I usually take care of my seeds first thing in the morning, right before breakfast. It's a nice start to the day:)
I was hoping it would warm up enough to melt the snow and dry the soil so I could plant my peas on St. Patrick's Day, but that isn't looking likely!