Planting from seed is part math, part art. Ideal temperatures for planting outside mean 50ºF soil (about 10ºC) and that won't happen for a about 90 more days, sometime between May 1st-15th. Our last average frost date, of May 1st, is the guide I use to estimate my seed starting. I'll start my peppers about 12 weeks before planting outside, which is Feb 15th, for my growing zone: USDA Zone 7A.
I'm using this Seed starting mix, and lately, the strong suggestion for all is to STERILIZE the bagged soils. Easy enough, as when you get the soil ready for seeds, you add tons of water. So, I simply boil water and add that while hot, which kills any Mites and Fungus Gnats in the bags.
Mix the soil and water thoroughly, then, start ladling or shoveling into the Starter Pots. I am using these square Peat Pots and the smaller square pots for starting.
Add soaked sterilized seed starter to pots.
I am planting Feb 15th, so I add some more water, to the tray to let the pots thoroughly soak. So far, 12 of the larger for Sweet and Banana Peppers, and 10 of smaller ones for some herbs I am starting.
The tray, under the grow lights, on the shelf. I keep the lid on, to help retain moisture and also to help keep heat in. My basement is a touch cold. Each growing tray has a heat pad underneath to promote warmer seed starting soil! (you can almost see the black mat underneath the tray!) I use the wood blocks to raise the tray towards the light, about 2-3 inches away. (5-8 cm)
Closer means More light means better initial growth!
Here's a snapshot of the type of plants I am starting from seed. Still haven't decided how many of each, but, when I do, I will break it down for you. For now, count on about 6 started of each tomato type, 6 of each pepper. Carrots directly seed start outdoors, so I will fill grow bags with them, later, probably End of April. The lettuce? I will probably rotate, as I do each year... with some seeds starting soon and grown for cutting, indoors, until it is warm enough to plant outdoors, too. Cukes, Zucchini, I will start indoors March 15th. The peas, will probably go outdoors directly mid April.
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2020... a wild and woolly year, if ever there was one. My entire industry (Special Events) was shut down on 13 March and hasn't been back yet. Personally, I am ok, but so many of my colleagues and friends are struggling with bills, paying for food and rent, medical and health insurance. I am hearing from clients, probably no work until about 4th quarter 2021.
To the animals and birds around me
to put more plants in than I take out
And be a good steward for the world around me!
All Photos by Bluefin Studios.
Bluefin Studios is a photographer, specializing in wildlife, nature, landscapes, waterfalls and Lighthouses!