Start Some of Your Spring Planting Right Now! Part 1
I live in a condo and space is very limited. As a result I haven’t done much experimenting with starting seeds indoors so far. Over the last year I’ve been updating the Calendar on the Schnarr’s Blog with planting times of some of the seeds that we sell in the store and a few others that I grow. My source for these planting times, indoor or outdoor, is using the average first and last frost dates for the St. Louis area as a guide along with the When to Plant App published by Mother Earth News. It’s amazing how early some of these dates are. This year I want to see what kind of success I can have actually following the schedule and not just throwing some seeds in the ground when I have time!
Since I collect and save seeds from year to year, first I took inventory of what I have and used the Calendar as a guide to see when to start the seeds. Three of the seeds in my stash, Yucca filamentosa, Purple Coneflower and Columbine will be ready to plant indoors in mid-January. I refreshed my memory about starting seeds by reading some articles on the Dave’s Garden web site.
I have some work to do before I’m ready to plant but I am making sure I have on hand the following:
Covered growing containers with a clear lid*
Sterile seed starting soil*
Spray bottle for watering*
A source of light for the seeds*
A source of heat for the seeds
Gardening journal for notes
*Available at Schnarr’s
When I get ready to plant, I’m going to make a page in my journal about each plant I’m attempting to sprout and make notes about what conditions the seeds require, then I will do my best to meet those requirements. I’m planning to make use of an aquarium that is currently empty to house some of the seeds. The aquarium light will act as both a light and heat source and the lid will help hold in moisture to create a mini-greenhouse. As an experiment, in an atrium in a building where I am renting a studio, I’m going to put some covered seed starter trays with some of the same species of seeds to see where they do better. I already have some of my house plants over there. Gardening involves a lot of trial and error – I will take good notes so in the future I will know what worked and what didn’t.
Here are some examples of seed starting supplies you can pick up at Schnarr’s:
Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Mix
Jiffy Seed Starter Kit