I’m a bit behind with my indoor seed starting this year because it took me a bit longer than I expected to find the seeds I wanted. I’ve learned that it pays to do a bit of research to find varieties that are easy to grow, unique, or do well in small spaces. I probably could have ordered from a catalogue, but in the end, I found what I was looking for with a trip to Richie’s Seed and Feed. I also picked up a couple packets of seeds at the Seedy Saturday event back in early March.
Last year I had more seedlings that I knew what to do with and ended up giving a bunch away. This year, I tried to exercise some restraint, and planted about half a tray of seeds. I also only started things that absolutely need to be started indoors (in past years I started basil and other veggies such as zucchini from seed, but clearly its much easier to just direct sow whenever its an option).
It doesn’t seem like much now compared to previous years, but I have to remind myself that once I transplant the seedlings into larger pots, they will take up a lot more room!
Here’s a picture of my baby seedlings, after 9 days.
From left to right:
- 4 Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry (McKenzie) – Brian’s pick, and probably one of the plants I am most excited about so far.
- 6 mini bell peppers (McKenzie) – I saved just the yellow and orange pepper seeds from last year, since they were the crispest and sweetest. We will have to see how they turn out this year. I found that we had much more success with these smaller peppers, given our shorter growing season. This variety still apparently takes 70-90 days to maturity though.
- 6 hot pepper super chili – Last year we planted a couple seeds from a plant we bought in 2010, and they grew amazingly. They are too hot for our taste, other than to spice chilis or salsa, but are very ornamental and prolific.
- 8 Tomato Tumbler F1 Hybrid (trailing) (McKenzie) – Had great success with these cherry tomatoes last year. They are determinate plants,so they didn’t get too out of control which is great given that we have a smaller veggie garden. They produced explode in your mouth tomatoes by the handful, so I decided that they were worth repeating. They mature in only 55 days, but they were the priciest seeds I bought ($3.89 for 8 seeds), especially since you can’t save the seeds from hybrid plants for next year.
- 6 Black Cherry Tomato (McFayden) – These are a heirloom variety I wanted to try after doing some research. I am excited to see how the color turns out, and although this is an indeterminate variety, the packet says they should only grow to about 60 cm. We’ll see. Maybe in a future blog I will write about the various tomato varieties I am excited about trying in years to come.
- 6 Morning Glory Heavenly Blue (McKenzie) – I started these indoors for earlier blooms as advised on the package. However, they are already quite large so perhaps this was a mistake! I havent grown morning glories before, but decided to give them a try since the moonflowers I grew last year weren’t quite as tall and viney as I was hoping.
Here’s a picture of the shelving unit I have set up in the window. The seedlings are on a box so that they are right up against the florescent light that is mounted on the bottom of the shelf. I used this light last year to prevent leggy seedlings. Not sure how well it works, but it was pretty cheap and easy to set up.