How to start seeds indoors

  • Bring the sack of seed starter mix in from the garage so it will reach room temperature.
  • Find the seeds.
  • Cut up the slats of an old window miniblind to make plant tags
  • Clean off enough of the kitchen counter that a whole new mess can be made on it.
  • Open up Gchat and gab with Krista about everything under the sun (including seed-starting)
  • Find the plastic gallon milk jugs that have been stashed over the past year.
  • Cut same into nice square seed-starting flats.
  • Ladle seed-starting mix into flats, adding water to the layers and spraying the surface of each layer so that the mix really does get wet
  • Carry on even when Krista ditches to tend to her dinner
  • Don’t water the top layer yet. Use an index card to smooth out the top layer of dry mix
  • Use the index card to make furrows for the seeds
  • Fold the index card; put seeds in the fold; and shake them carefully, one by one, into the furrows
  • Cover the seeds
  • Use a spray bottle to give the top layer of mix a good soaking
  • Pull a Baggie (or any brand of clear plastic bag that doesn’t have a zip top) up around the container. Twist it a bit, and then blow into it as if it were a balloon
  • Twist the Baggie closed, and seal with a twist tie
  • Put the containers where they won’t get any sun until the seeds have sprouted. Below they’re on the potting table in the second floor of the garage (which is heated).
  • Check the containers every day to make sure the Baggie mini-greenhouse hasn’t collapsed. Blow up any that have.
  • Pray that you still have any clue how to do this after a multi-year hiatus from gardening.

Started today: Wrinkled Crinkled cress seeds from Pinetree; Flashy Trout Back red romaine from Johnny’s—last year’s seeds, so who knows; English thyme from Seeds of Change.


P.S. The second planting in the coldframe failed, too. When the nighttime temps dip down into single digits, any germination is doomed. Undaunted, I’ll plant again on March 23, assuming that the 10-day at that time shows nothing colder than 20°. Hey, I can dream.