Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Starting Leek Seeds Indoors

I planted leek seeds about a week ago in a recycled plastic food container, using a peat medium. They sprouted a few days ago and are doing well. 

The seed trays are right in front of a south-facing window, where they get lots of light all day. 

After dark, I put a light over the trays to extend the "day", in an attempt to prevent leggy growth. 

So far, everything looks good and we're looking forward to big, fat leeks this summer!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Starting Seeds Indoors

Now that my coffee table is overflowing with seed catalogs, I'm itching for the gardening season to begin. And it has!

I'm starting seeds inside my apartment now, so that by summertime I'll be harvesting lots of goodies. Some seeds do well with a jumpstart in a sunny window (like in my home), a greenhouse, or under grow lamps in a basement or garage. Leeks, onions, and brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower all have long seasons that can begin inside, long before the snow melts and the soil warms. 

I use seed starting pellets and lettuce containers for my operation. The seed pellets are soaked in water until they puff up and become a soft, moist home for the seeds. The plastic lettuce boxes get a few drainage holes poked in the bottom for drainage and are placed on top of the lids to catch any overflow from watering. 

I cover the boxes with plastic wrap until they germinate and then open them up when they've all sprouted. 

The purple sprouting broccoli came up in just a few days. What other seeds did I start inside?

I started Purple Sprouting Broccoli from Pinetree Garden Seeds (2012), Crimson Forest Bunching Onion from Pinetree Garden Seeds (2012), King Richard Leek from Botanical Interests (2015), and Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinach from Burpee (2009).  I didn't buy any new seeds this year except the leek. While going through my gardening supplies, I realized that I already have a huge selection from previous years. I'm being thrifty this season and growing what I have. So, we'll see if those 2009 spinach seeds do anything. 

Here's to Garden Season 2015! Get growing!