I'm back! and so glad to have dirt under my fingernails again!

Where have I been you ask?  Well, nowhere fun or exotic, unfortunately ... the last couple of years were just a bit "tough" for me and I didn't have much of a garden.


Yep, it was sad. So, so sad. But, the good news is that I'm back and determined to have the most bountiful garden ever this year.

I've begun starting seeds and am off to the races!

Right now I have tons of little seedlings growing quite well (thank you very much!) under my T5's:

  • 20 broccoli, 
  • 20 purple cauliflower, 
  • 30 cabbages (4 types), 
  • 10 bok choy, 
  • 20 swiss chard, 
  • 15 celery, 
  • 20 romaine lettuce, 
  • 30 peppers (4 types), 
  • 20 eggplant (4 types), 
  • 10 kale, 
  • 10 purple kohlrabi, 
  • 30 spinach, and 
  • 15 brussels sprouts.


I plan to start tomatoes, artichokes, and some herbs and annual flowers this weekend too. After that, I'll move on to some cucumber, squash, melons, gourds,  And, of course, I'll be starting to plant seeds directly in the garden in the next few weeks as well. And then, things really get going.


Anywho, back to my seeds.... I had forgotten how easy it is to start seeds using expanding peat pellets!

I used to use these all the time, but haven't for the last few years (opting for using coconut shell or peat in little plastic pots). But, I recently found a big stash of them from years back and must confess that I love them! Those little suckers really do make starting seeds super, duper easy.

You just line up the pellets, add water until they expand and then plant your seeds directly in the indentation at the top. The netting holds the peat together and creates a little pot (sans plastic!) for the seedling. 

Easy Peasy!

I forgot to take a photo of the before, but here they are after I "watered" the peat pellets and they fully expanded. I usually pull the netting open a bit more than what it does on its own and I use a chopstick to cover the seeds with some of the peat on the top after planting in the hole.

And here are a few little sprouts up close and personal in a peat pellet ....

I've already re-potted the brassicas too! And, for the first time ever, I was ruthless --  I only allowed the strongest, best-looking seedling in each pellet to remain.

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to planting seeds and I often put multiple seeds into each pellet or container (I have big fingers!). That means that there are often 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5 or 9) seedlings that come up in each spot. I've always felt terrible about killing my little baby plants though and usually either try to separate them (bad idea! those little roots are super sensitive and it's easy to kill the seedlings that way!) or just let them duke it out on their own (which is usually my passive-aggressive preferred method).

But not this year! Not for my biggest and bountiful-est garden ever!

It's really much, much better to allow a single plant to grow in a single spot, and this year I bit the bullet and snipped off all of the smaller or weaker seedlings and left just one in each spot. I'm hoping that my murderous ways will allow for better seedlings, better plants, and better harvest. 

So far, the little guys seem to like having more personal space, so I think it will be a good thing! But, time will tell.

Mar 07 2018
Posted in: Seed Starting

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