Starting Seeds for the Garden - Page 2

When planting the seed trays, good records can be vital.

a record book with good intentions

I started out to keep good records of how many seeds were planted in each slot and which variety of each type of plant and so on. The start was better than the carry on but at least it was a start. I think next year I will set up a spread sheet and see if I keep that any better. Actually I should look back at my fall cuttings as I write this and set up a spread sheet on them. All I needed to start with was a sheet with 1 to 20 on it for each slot in the planting tray.

peat based planting mix

I like to use a peat based planting mix for seed starting. It is not necessary to have any plant food in the mix although adding a fourth part of perlite or vermiculite is a good idea for water retention. These trays are shallow and can dry out fast. The seedlings will not or should not be in the trays long enough to need a food supplement. What is in the seed should be enough. Peat can be hard to get wet if it is allowed to dry out. Some water in a plastic bag with the mix makes it easy to squeeze the bag a few times and mix the water in. Soggy is not necessary but damp is good.

fill the slots with potting mix

I just fill the slots with potting mix and tamp it down lightly.

Of course seeds are needed. One of the delghts of a winter evening is goind through catalogues and picking out seeds. These days you can go online, but there is something great about holding a catalogue in your hand and fipping the pages. I live in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada and Stokes, Vesseys and Halifax Seed are my favorites although I look at a lot of places.

lay the seeds down on the surface of the mix

Seeds like to grow. Do not worry, just plant. I lay the seeds down on the surface of the mix and tamp down lightly to make sure they are touvhing the mix well.

You can see dahlia seeds on the fourth row on the right from the bottom. They are fairly large as flower seeds go and are colored yellow, probably with a fungicide. Organic growers like to use seeds without fungicide. I am of two minds here. Mostly I agree with the total organic approach, but the addition of this small bit of fungicide seems incidental to me. Opinions vary and for some the principal holds sway.