Gardening paralysis overcome! Peppers are sown.
Sunday, 28 Feb 10
Even though in Minnesota it’s hard to believe that spring will ever get here, according to the backs of my seed packets, and info on the web, it is indeed time to start sowing indoors. This is my second year in my attempt to do some serious gardening, and this year is proving to be even more overwhelming than last. This year I am trying to start from seeds. This year I know more than last. I have discovered, after the fact, that there are things like companion planting, that really, some seeds are better sown directly than transplanting them, that garlic is planted in the fall from the cloves. (I couldn’t figure out why there were no garlic seedlings available at the farmer’s market last year. Good-grief!!!).
So, this year I have done my research, for better or worse, because it seems like there is really never just one answer, and sometimes I find info that directly contradicts other info. An obsessive personality type (ahem, like perhaps myself) might never get to the actual gardening if they are not careful. And so today I took a big breath and dove in and took the first big leap, starting with my peppers. Things are not perfect. I really wanted to try growing my seedlings without the use of any plastic, but plastic has been used. (my own private little anti-plastic war, no other reason).
Flipping between whether to try germinating the seeds before planting, or planting them in a seed starting medium, I decided to try both methods. Why not? It will give me plenty of info for the 2011 garden. So half of my pepper seeds went into damp coffee filters, then into plastic baggies, and half went into little containers made from toilet paper rolls. Both ideas gleaned from other folks’ experiences that I’ve stumbled upon in my internet reading. My little TP pots are filled with a seed starting mix I found at Mother Earth Gardens in Saint Paul which consists of Berger OM2 (Canadian sphagnum peat moss, fine perlite and fine vermiculite), Earthworm castings, and Sustane 4-6-4 (a fertilizer derived from composted turkey litter). It smelled wonderful. After one of the most snow filled winters ever, any earthy smell is a bit of heaven. If I were a little seed, it would sure make me happy. The TP holders went into a used plastic container with lid and I made marker identifiers from an old sour cream container. I am quite happy with it. Even if did involve plastic :-)
Both the baggies and container are currently sitting on a heating pad (with a couple of towels in between.) It sounds like peppers are one of the trickiest things to start from seed, so if I get anywhere with either of these methods, I will be a happy little beginner gardener indeed!!!
Next week: Tomatoes!