Let the Seed Starting Begin

Once again it’s time to start seeds for the garden. This time of year I start all of my seeds indoors using fluorescent lights setup in our basement. On February 3rd I started seeds for parsley, cilantro and chives. All those went into 3.5″ plastic pots, one pot for each variety, and have not yet come up. I will need to prick them out and pot them up into individual containers once they start showing their true leaves. Parsley has a reputation for not liking to be transplanted, but I find the small seedlings do quite well this way. Since parsley takes a long time to germinate, usually 2 to 3 weeks, I have covered those pots with plastic to help keep them moist.

starting parsley seeds

starting parsley seeds

Yesterday I started seeds for lettuce in a 128 cell plug flat. The lettuce will emerge in a few days, and in about three weeks the seedlings will be ready for planting out in the greenhouse and cold frame beds. For a potting mix, lately I have been using Pro-Mix All Purpose Mix or Pro-Mix Organic Seed Starting Mix. I prefer to use a seed starting mix without added fertilizer so I can add my own as needed, and Pro-Mix is usually available locally. Once the seedlings are a couple of weeks old I will use a weak fish and seaweed fertilizer like Neptune’s Harvest to give them a little food. I’m not trying to plug or endorse these products, but people often ask what I use.

plug flat with lettuce seed

plug flat with lettuce seed

About a week ago I started sunflower seeds for using as sprouts (aka shoots). They are ready to begin cutting, and the first batch will go on a salad we are having for lunch today. Next I will start seeds for greens like arugula and pac choi, tatsoi, mizuna and other mild mustard greens. Near the end of February I will start seeds for broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi. You can find my general timeline in my Seed Starting and Planting Schedule.

sunflower sprouts

sunflower sprouts

I hope you have enjoyed this update, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings!

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5 Responses to Let the Seed Starting Begin

  1. I’m always too late starting spring greens. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Margaret says:

    I’ll be starting my parsley and peppers soon…a big change from years past when I also had to start a couple of flats of onions and then coddle them for 3 months. It’s pretty darn awesome knowing that I won’t be sowing them until April and they will go from seed to transplant in only a few weeks.

  3. Michelle says:

    Spring must be around the corner! We have had a dose of “real” weather here lately with snow on the local peaks and lots of rain elsewhere, chilly days and cold nights. I’ve not been able to get out to the garden to finish the winter cleaning tasks. There’s seedlings popping up for spring veggies but I don’t know when I’ll be able to get them into the garden.

    Do you buy special seeds for your sunflower sprouts? I should try them, my Dave loves them and they are ridiculously expensive.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I get them at a local natural foods store, ones specially for sprouting. The sprouts are expensive here too, but so easy to do at home.

  4. It’s likely to be another month before we start doing.

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