Garden 2013: Indoor Seed Starting


It's late January and nothing is growing outside. It's winter and it's cold (sort of) but we've been in garden planning mode for a few weeks now. And today we started some of our earliest crops inside. The Brassicas- cauliflower, cabbage, kale and broccoli. Some eggplant, to get them good and strong before transplanting outside in a few months. A few herbs and some really early tomatoes- in hopes that we can get them pretty big by transplanting time and get tomatoes earlier and longer this season.

I have always started my own seeds. It's not as hard as you may think. In terms of simplicity you can buy peat pellets (pictured at the top) and stick your seeds in and make sure they get light (sun or artificial) and keep them watered. That is usually all it takes. If you don't want to make the extra purchase you can make pots out of newspaper or soil blocks and plant your seeds directly in to them. This year I am using what I had left of my peat pellets from last year and some seedling trays reused and refilled with a mixture of potting soil and peat moss.

The main difference this year is that we don't have a good sunny window to place seed trays in anymore. Last year's starts ended up pretty long and straggly. So a few weeks ago Paul and I built a seed-starting shelf. It was made simply out of boards we had laying around. Today we added 3 4-ft shop lights to grow the seeds under and got to planting!

My kids are always part of our garden each year. They take part in most aspects from planting to weeding to harvesting to eating. But this year, Rylan's interest has really spiked. I am not sure if I have mentioned this, but the #1 item on his Christmas list this year was seeds. A gift certificate from Baker Creek to be exact. Today he planted his Purple of Sicily Cauliflower,  Romanesco Italia Broccoli,Thai Yellow Egg Eggplant, and a couple of his tomatoes- White Tomesol and Golden King of Siberia.

 Here's what went in today:

20 Purple of Sicily Cauliflower
20 Snowball Cauliflower
15 Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
17 Waltham 29 Broccoli
16 Romanesco Italia Broccoli
12 Russian Red Kale
10 Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage
10 Copenhagen Market Cabbage
3 each of these Eggplants: Turkish Orange, Thai Yellow Egg, Black Egg, Crystal Apple, Ping Tang and Long Purple
9 Lavender
4 Purple Basil
4 Genovese Basil
3 each of these tomatoes: Golden King of Siberia, Dr. Wyche's, Amish Paste, Super Sioux, Chadwick's Cherry, White Tomesol
2 trays of onions seeds: Wehtersfield Red and Red Torpedo

Now they are happily sitting under their lights, ready to sprout! Have you started this planning/planting this year's garden? What's on your list this year?

linked to the Homestead Barn Hop


  1. Awesome! We did this today too. I've never done it before so hoping it goes well! Can't wait to see pics of your garden later in th year!

  2. We are putting flowers in our garden this year. I think we will get more enjoyment and less failure for our work that way. All your vegetables sound so yummy and tempting though.

  3. That's great that the kids are so involved! Good luck. I haven't found a good way to grow seeds here. My grow light doesn't work very well. :/

  4. Stopping by and following from the Mosaic Review Team ... loved reading about your homeschool!! Have a great week and thanks for following my blog. :)
    Alicia @ Joy in the Everyday