Sometime amid this winter's talk of garden planning and seed starting, my daughter was motivated to save the seeds from her apple. I'm not sure I have her simple faith that if we just plant them, we'll have more fruit soon. I'm still waiting on a sapling in our yard to produce apples. I suppose we'll need to plant these, at least as an experiment. I'm definitely saving the artwork.
We have seen some early results from this weekend's seed starting efforts on spring vegetables. I'm hopeful that, despite mistakes, most of what we've planted will thrive. We placed our home-pasteurized mud pie
mixture in with the store-bought potting soil and extra sphagnum moss. Directions on the moss clearly stated that it could be used in potting soil. Yet, I couldn't break it up much and it seemed awfully messy. I had made the mixture in order to save money and stretch the more expensive bagged potting soil. Sometimes I just try too hard.
We had only a few manufactured seed-starting containers that my husband bought last year. Everything else was a recycled container, including egg cartons, butter tubs and used gardening pots. We made small holes or slits in the container bottoms for drainage. The girls helped me fill each container about two-thirds high with the potting mixture. Then, I showed them how to poke a little hole with their finger before placing the seeds into the soil.
We were able to obtain organic versions of nearly every vegetable seed. We've started heirloom tomatoes, green peppers, squash, melons and more. After only three days, we started seeing green shoots coming from the broccoli seeds. After four days, the lettuce was visibly growing.
I admit making mistakes. I hastily included eggplant with the other things we were starting, then realized that I'm not supposed to set that outside until about June. Wonder how well eggplant grows in big pots indoors? I'm a little concerned about the spacing of some seeds. Most containers had cells, but some did not. We may be doing a lot of re-potting to get the most out of these little plants in the coming weeks.
We're excited about getting some plants out into the garden in as little as a month. I appreciated the detailed directions on the back of the packets from Johnny's Seeds
, which had been recommended by a professional grower. The girls are excited about helping to water the plants and watching them transform day by day. Not sure about apples in our yard this year, but it looks like we'll certainly have some organic vegetables.