It’s time to do the third round of indoor seeding for the 2019 season! I’ll admit, the first round (shown above 8 days after seeding) was a “not really motivated, not ready for the commitment, but know I’ll be sorry if I don’t” affair. The second round was during the Polar Vortex, when gardening anytime in the upcoming weeks seemed an unlikely prospect. Round 3 feels altogether different. First of all, we actually had our FIRST sunny day in February, and that makes such a difference in attitude. Secondly, this round includes some of the main, important crops: all the various hot and sweet peppers and lots of onions (scallions, red, white, yellow storage, more cippolini), a few more slow-starting annual flowers (ageratums tall for cutting and dwarf for containers, asarina, nicotiana, madia, more snapdragons and dwarf calendula.) Thirdly, most importantly, some work was accomplished in the potager last week so it looks tidier and just the acts of clipping and toting stems to compost bins lifted my spirits. And lastly, there are tiny green crocus shoots emerging in the Front Garden and Deck Garden. Hurrah! The neighbor’s pig didn’t get them all!
As usual, standard hygiene practices were used to prepare the flats, plant labels and domes for seeding. See “A Heap of Hope” post for guidance. The “Round 3” divider card from the seed storage box was checked to see which seeds need light to germinate (nicotiana, foxglove, snapdragons, balloonflower, ageratum), and which need darkness (none this round.) Sterilized potting soil was used to fill the seeding flats, and all rows were not only carefully labeled but recorded in the seeding journal to keep things clear just in case a label is lost. The seeding journal is my bible right now, with records from the past three years to guide this year’s plans. It doesn’t help to take notes if they aren’t read, so now is a good time to study those observations jotted down here and there and possibly organize them a bit, reflect on them, maybe do a bit more research.
For instance, my notes tell me that the onions grown from seed have kept much better than those grown from sets, so I’ll seed more this year. A few sets will be planted, partly because I can’t resist buying a few and because they provide scallions so quickly, but I’m not purchasing onion plants at all. I’d also forgotten that parsnip seed (like spinach seed) needs to be fresh each year for decent germination, so I tacked on a packet of parsnip to my recent Renee Shepherd seed order. Seeing all those little green babies is lifting my spirits. Soon it will be time to start transplanting. It’s all SO, SOW very exciting!
Have you begun seeding? Are you getting excited about the upcoming season, or is your season well underway?