I love gardening, but sometimes I feel so inadequate as a gardener. Every year I have huge plans to start seeds of more varieties than I can possibly have room for! Sometimes gardening is a struggle with seeds not germinating or dying from disease. That’s not even getting into animals, both domestic and wild, that love to eat or lay on them! But I never give up and am ready the next year to start all over again. It’s a beautiful struggle to drop a seed into some growing medium and watch a plant grow from it.
In Michigan we never know when the ground will be ready to plant outside in the spring. I remember reading an article before that said if you don’t lose some plants in early spring or late fall, you really aren’t gardening (or at least trying to garden). I can usually plan on putting everything out on Memorial Day weekend, but will actually plant several types of seeds before this day.
My struggles with seed starting
Growing plants from seeds seems easy from the start, but I have yet to master this task. That doesn’t stop me each spring! I usually buy a large bag of seed starting medium and get lots of seeds to try. I have started seeds in all kinds of containers: plastic cups, deli trays, egg cartons, egg shells, peat pots, and regular pots. I have pretty much had the same results on all of these. Saran wrap works good to keep them covered until they come up. I also use dollar store condiment squirters to water the seeds and little seedlings carefully.
I think one of my biggest problems is getting the seedlings acclimated to outside conditions when I am ready to plant them outside. I get impatient and don’t take enough time. One major mistake that I make is not properly labeling the seeds that I plant, whether inside or outside. I always think that I will remember what I have planted. And that is not very smart! I now try to make sure that everything has a craft stick with the name written on it.
Seeds that I have started so far this spring
So it’s early April and I now have a couple plastic bins of seeds started. It makes me smile when I see them each day. I have made sure that I have marked them and water them regularly. So far I have several herbs going. I love to watch herbs grow and need to learn to use them more in my cooking. I’ve started thyme, basil, oregano, borage, and one little tiny lavender. I really would like more lavender, so I’m trying some more of those tonight along with some new seeds. Have you ever heard of clary sage? I haven’t but saw it at a seed swap and decided to try it. According to the description it is one of the most aromatic herbs. It is used in many famous perfumes and is the euphoria scent in aromatherapy. It kinda sounds like catnip for cats! I’m really bummed that my rosemary did not come up and once again my sweet cecily didn’t either. I have tried everything for sweet cecily and I am almost ready to give up.
I also have started some pepper plants. Right now I have Yolo and Bridge to Paris peppers that are up and starting on their first true leaves. They are both heirloom sweet peppers which I got at the seed swap. Pepperoncinis are also planted and should be up in a couple of weeks. I have many plans for heirloom seeds to grow and practice my seed saving techniques on. Why don’t you try some along with me!