Time to Sow Seeds Indoors

After my last post where I realized that spring was indeed coming, I figured I’d better open my boxes from Botanical Interests and Burpee that were still sitting by the front door and see what I had bought.  I know I’m still ok with timing since I usually don’t start anything until after spring break.  Oops, forgot I was going grow my own peppers this year rather than buying them and they need 8-10 weeks in the house before going outside!  Better get a move on!

Stephi gardens

Seeds to be started indoors

I found this great Seed Sowing Guide on the Botanical Interests website that very clearly lays out when seeds need to be started, both indoors and out.  I printed off my sheets and started calculating.

botanical Interests

Even though my last frost date is April 22nd, I’m generally not comfortable assuming I can plant tender seedlings before Mother’s Day Weekend.  So using that as my planting weekend, I calculated back when I needed to get things started.

First up is the peppers ASAP since I’m behind a week or so, then in a couple of weeks I’ll start the cucumbers and squash.  I’m not growing as many flowers myself this year because we’ll be having a high school graduation party the end of May for my twin boys.  I am going to splurge and go for some instant color this year.  But, I will start some cosmos and sunflowers for me to enjoy later in the summer.

As I described in my earlier posts, Starting My Seeds Indoors and Starting Seeds Indoors, I really like the APS system from Gardeners Supply Company (recently replaced by the GrowEase system)  So I hauled the box of seed starting supplies from the basement, bought a new bag of seed starting soil and got planting.

APS seed starting system

My fancy storage container for my seed starting supplies

APS seed starting system

Moisten the seed starting mix. Make it damp, not sopping. Also, use seed starting mix, not potting or garden soil.

APS seed starting system

Should feel moist and be able to form a loose ball

APS seed starting system

Moisten thoroughly the capillary mat and set up the APS tray system.

APS seed starting system

Fill the cells with soil. Tamp down the soil to compress it. Forms a better root ball for transplanting.

And here’s my new “trick” this year.  I always have trouble knowing what seeds are planted in which cell.  I usually use popsicle sticks, but they just get in the way of the lid and sometime the writing fades.  This year I marked off a grid like a map and made a log to go with it.  So simple, not sure why I didn’t think of it before!

APS seed starting system

Now I just need to be sure I don’t lose my paper log!

pepper seeds

Plant the seeds, 2-3 to a cell (you’ll thin later).  Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil so they are at the right depth according to the seed package directions.

APS seed starting system

Peppers are ready, looking forward to seeing them sprout.  In a couple of weeks, I’ll start the rest of the indoor seeds, and I’ll also get the cold weather seeds sowed outside.  It’s always iffy as to whether I get anything to grow this early outside, but I keep trying.

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