Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time to Plant Seeds!

 I started getting weekly emails from My Square Foot Garden a couple weeks ago, reminding me that it was time to start seeds indoors. Last year I just bought seedlings from the store, but this year I decided the kids would really enjoy seeing things grow. So we bought a couple supplies:

In particular, I bought a mini-greenhouse seed starter kit for $6.99 and some potting soil. I also bought a couple extra packets of seeds, although I had more than I thought left over  from last year.

 The kids got the soil moist in a big metal tub and then started filling in the plastic trays. I thought they would like this a lot, but it wasn't nearly as fun as I had anticipated. Oh, well. I guess playing in mud is more enjoyable when it's less supervised.

 Then came the seed planting. Desert Boy did a fine job, but Desert Girl thought it was fun to put seeds into extra spaces. Hmm, we may have some surprises coming up.

 We carefully labeled everything with little bits of paper secured on toothpicks.

 Then it was time to water with a little warm water on the bottom of the tray and add the plastic cover. I put the whole tray up on top of the refrigerator, hoping to find a nice, warm place for it. Our house is usually about 65 degrees and I had read that germination was best about 70 degrees. It turns out that the refrigerator is near our door, and all the opening and closing lets in some drafts, so I found a place on top of a high cabinet. It didn't have good light, but the seeds don't need light at this point.

 Three days later, I took down the tray and we saw seedlings! Broccoli, spinach mustard, sunflower, and parsley (which probably really isn't parsley because that takes longer than three days to germinate) had just barely emerged from the soil in six of the little spaces.

Desert Boy is keeping a record of the sprouts. It's been good for his math, reading, and handwriting skills. Today was day 4, and we had sprouts in 11 of the compartments. This is fun! The plastic cover seems to make a big difference, as many other times when I've tried seeds indoors, I've invariably let the plants get too dry. Hopefully this year we'll have much better success!

What plants do you like to grow the best?

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