Last week I kicked off the 2012 seed starting season here at Happy Acres. I started seeds for arugula, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, Florence fennel, parsley and petunia. All but the petunia seeds went in a 288 cell plug flat. I like using plug flats when I am starting a lot of seeds at once, which is often the case with me.
I’m not a big fan of plastic, but it does serve its purpose when it comes to seed starting. It holds moisture well, can easily be sterilized, and if well taken care of the pots and flats can be used for several years. I’ve been using most of my plug flats for 5 years now, and I should be able to get several more years out of them.
All these seedlings will be transplanted into larger pots or cell packs about 2-3 weeks after germination. The plug flats make it easy to get the seedlings out with minimal root disturbance, and it also saves me a lot of time.
Some of the broccoli and cabbage seeds germinated in three days. All of the cabbage family, including kohlrabi, were up a couple of days later, as was the arugula. I’m still waiting on the fennel, parsley and petunia. Parsley is notoriously slow to germinate, often taking 2 or 3 weeks to show signs of life. The fennel should be up in another day or so.
I started the petunias in 3.5″ square pots. The seeds need light to germinate, so I just put the pelleted seed on top of the soil and water it in using a spray bottle. For more information on growing petunias from seed, you can check out a post I did in 2010. This year I’m starting blue, red, purple and pink trailing varieties, though not all are Waves.
I’ll be starting more vegetable and herb seeds in the weeks to come. I’ve got a great supply of overwintered salad greens and Asian greens growing in the cold frames and greenhouse, so I won’t need to start many of those just yet. My next big seed starting effort will be in March when I get the eggplants, peppers and tomatoes going. That’s when the fun really begins!