Monday, January 20, 2014

The Gardening Season Begins

FINALLY!!  It is time to start seeds!  

Well, actually, I started them last week. 

I'm so excited about them.  The only ones that I have done so far are the slow to germinate herbs along with a few that will do good in the spring frosts.  

Here's what I've started:
    Cilantro (which I'm pretty sure the cat destroyed)
    Sweet Marjoram (no idea how to cook with/eat it, but chickens benefit from it)
    Onions (started now for large transplants later!)

I've never grown this many herbs before.  Last year, the chickens had a hay day with a lot of things that got planted.  As well as the massive amount of rain and hail last summer.  It was not so great.  So we will see how this year's garden comes along.  I'm hoping to keep the chickens distracted with other things I will grow specifically for them.

Want to start some seeds??

Grab your seed starting medium.  I'm hoping to make some next year once I have a little more experience under my belt.  This year, I just grabbed a couple bags at the local nursery.  This was what they said they use and love.  Not certified organic, but the ingredients don't scare me.  I know it's called Ferti-Lome, but there is no fertilizer in it.  It's just fertile starter!  

You don't want to plant your seeds straight in this right out of the bag.  It needs a little bit of prep work. You are going to want to get it moist, but NOT wet.  Does that make sense?  It should feel damp.  The easiest way I have found to do this is to dump a good amount into a large bowl with some water.  Then use a spoon or your hands to mix the water into it.  The water takes a little bit to soak in.  Give it a few minutes before you add more water to it.

Nice and fluffy and moist.  That's all the prep that is needed.  It's all set to put into your containers and plant your seeds!  I started these seeds in some flats. I filled the flat about 3/4 full with the seed starting medium and flattened it so it was all even.  Next, I put the seeds out in rows and labeled with little wood markers. Cover with more seed starting medium and press down lightly.  Take a spray bottle of water and give it a good spritz all over.  Then cover your flat with a lid or some kind of clear plastic. (maybe even ceran wrap!)

Put it in a spot that gets lots of sun!  This is giving it a little greenhouse effect.  Warm and humid.  You don't need to water it while it is like this.  Once you see sprouts, take the lid off and water as needed.  (With your spray bottle, no need to drown em)  This year for Christmas, the hubs bought me a heating mat!  I'm really happy with the results so far.  Last year, my plants got really leggy.  Reaching and stretching for the heat from the sun.  They weren't strong at all.  This heats them from the bottom so they don't need to reach and stretch.  

Here are my little seedlings after just a week!

Happy little seedlings.


  1. This makes me want to grow some herbs!! I've always wanted to but have been scared to try--I feel like I'll just kill them from not knowing how to take care of them (or forgetting to water!). I bet Peanut would love seeing them grow though. What do you think for SoCal weather and being in an apt?? :) Love you jiib!

    1. Oh you TOTALLY can!! Year round down there too! (Herbs) you could also do tomatoes in a pot (as long as it's a determinate kind so it's not 8ft tall) and peppers and bush cucumbers! You could do so much!