April 4, 2006

Starting Seeds Indoors - First Time

This weekend I started some seeds indoors. I had purchased this funky plastic greenhouse with 25 "pellets" of planting "medium." a while ago and I finally felt comfortable going for it on Sunday. At first they just looked like little disks but, then I added a bunch of water to the bottom of the tray and they puffed up into these columns of soil-like stuff and I was able to put a few seeds into each one. I had to create a little map so I would remember what I planted where and I removed one "pellet" so I would know how the map was supposed to go. I felt like Hansel and Gretel leaving breadcrumbs or something although, that didn't turn out too well for them did it?

I planted marigolds, 2 types of onions, lavender, purple coneflower and arugula. The clear plastic cover is on right now and after the first sign of sprouting I'm supposed to lift the cover slightly and then once they've all sprouted I'm supposed to remove the cover and put the whole thing in a sunny location. Once the little plants seem big enough I need to "harden them off" which is basically getting the little guys to toughen up enough to handle life in the great outdoors.

I'm most worried about the following things:

1) Cats - How do I prevent my cats from turning this whole endeavor into a "salad bar"?
I think I have a plan which involves a high chair next to a window and possibly cutting the top panel off of the cover instead of removing it completely. Those cats are freaks!

2) Sunlight - One of the keys, it seems, is making sure the seedings get enough sun. I think I have a good window in mind but, having never done this I am not positive that any of my windows are sunny enough.

3) Temperature - warmth is one of the other key factors in getting seeds to germinate and although this weekend was warm the temperature is colder today and it is supposed to drop further overnight.

I checked this morning and I think I spied 2 little sproutlets of something. I kept the cover on because I'm worried about the cold but, pretty soon I'll need to take the plunge and put the whole thing closer to a bright window (which is sunnier but colder). Wish me luck.

This was actually a pretty big garden/plant weekend for me, In addition to planting seeds:

I figured out the rest of my garden plan. I decided to drop a few plants I'd had in mind (limas and turnips) and to include some more paths so I can get to everything. I think I am regretting my decision to try to grow zucchini this year because it takes up A LOT of space but......I'll give it a whirl and just ditch it for next year if it doesn't seem worth it.

Oh and I bought an Orchid which I adore and I've been calling it Orca. Its reeeeeeally pretty but, I think it might need to be repotted and I'm nervous about screwing it up. I'll post a photo soon.

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