Saturday, March 03, 2012

Getting Ready for Spring

I'm so sick of winter! I've been looking at all sorts of lovely pictures of flower and vegetable gardens online and getting very impatient for spring to get here. I was at Home Depot a while back and noticed that they already have all their seeds in stock, ready for spring. We usually get our vegetables and our flowers from garden centres and farmers' markets, but this year, I need something to do in the (many) weeks before spring gets here, so I decided to start some seeds indoors rather than buying the plants in the spring. Not only does it give me something to do, but it's much cheaper.

This is the first time I've tried to start my own seeds indoors. I was just going to get a few perennials to start, but while we were at Home Depot last weekend, we also decided to pick up a few vegetable seeds. We bought astilbe, bellflowers, lupins, zucchini, cucumber, green beans (the kind that climb), cherry tomatoes and chili peppers. I decided to try to start them in one of those little Jiffy plastic greenhouses. We got one that had 36 pellets.

It was pretty easy. I soaked the pellets with water and watched the pellets puff right up. It was kind of fun! (I'm easily amused.) They are surrounded by netting that apparently you should pull off because sometimes it doesn't decompose fast enough and can strangle the roots as the plants grow.

I didn't have any popsicle sticks lying around, and I couldn't really justify spending money on little plastic tags just to label the seedlings, so I made my own plant markers out of straws and tape. I cut the straws in half and  put the tape around them to make a little flag.

The instructions said to put two to three seeds in each pod, but since the pods were so little, I only did that with the plants that had small seeds. The plants with big seeds, like the zucchini, got their own little pod to themselves. I covered the seeds up with soil and then put the cover on and left the greenhouse in the sun. It didn't take long for the condensation to develop in the greenhouse so I'll have to keep an eye on that and remove the cover as soon as the seeds germinate so they don't rot or develop fungus. I hope that we manage to grow some lovely new plants to tide me over until spring comes and I can plant them outside.

Is it spring yet?

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