The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Growing

6 Comments

I admit, I have never had much luck with seeds but last year a friend asked me to grow some seeds for her family cabin garden and handed me a “Jiffy” seed starting kit. How could I refuse? It was so much fun and all the seeds sprouted and she had some flowers that even I didn’t manage to keep in my garden! So, this year I picked up a couple of those “Jiffy” starters for myself. So far, I have a couple of seeds starting but germination days are nearing over the average. Last year I didn’t really keep track and had more fun with it so I am just going to try to relax about it. Every year, no matter my luck, I start seeds indoors because well, winter just drags on and on and ON and I feel I need to do some type of gardening! So, here is my makeshift set up this year. Of course, two of the starter kits were not enough once I began to get into it and I created some mini starter kits of my own from salad containers.

This is the best window in the house, facing south. Even so, I think I have the same problem I have every year – not enough light. I am using this old clip on light I found in the cellar with a plant bulb in it for extra light. I should really just make a plant stand and use shop lights but I don’t really have a lot of room and then I would have to store it the rest of the year. This is the other end of our kitchen (and dining) table. I have all the mini green houses on large plastic trays so I can move them easily if I need to. This also makes it convenient to harden off the seedlings. The tray by the window is sitting directly above a heating vent – very convenient. I have a heating pad under the tray on the table.

There is something so hopeful in seeing a tiny sprout!

I marked a “top” to each Jiffy greenhouse and then made a chart so I know what the plants are. I, of course, planted about ten different things in each one which isn’t really very smart because each plant germinates at a different rate. Then again, the hyssop which was supposed to germinate in 10-14 days, came up right away! And only one pot of Scarlet O’Hara Morning Glory germinated quickly, very quickly. I had to take it out.

Meet Super Scarlet! My salad greenhouses seem to be working quite well. Most of my veggies have already sprouted.

I just rotate these around each day hoping to create strong stems. I think the top may have to come off of this one. This year I am starting all of my vegetables from seed including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, brandy wine and cherry tomatoes. I sure hope to see them growing strong in the potager come summer.

Outdoors I have made some mini greenhouses from water jugs and club soda containers. In these I have planted perennial seeds. They’re on my covered front porch where I can keep a close eye on them.

So far nothing (sigh), but it is still quite cold here. I figure a few warm days … These won’t have to be hardened off and I want to compare them to seeds started indoors. Hopefully soon, I will not have to buy salad in containers!

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

6 thoughts on “What’s Growing

  1. I admire your determination! The most I've done is throw seeds into the soil and I've got some seedlings but my dog seems to be deeply attracted to walking on them! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Good Luck with all your seedlings Violet Fern. I have not done this in years. You are so right that there is hope in those fragile shoots of green.

  3. looking good…I had to resort to a heating mat and grow light that had long enough bulbs…I will let you know how it goes…

  4. I am not good with seeds either, but I bought some tomato seeds at the local garden show, so I think I will have to try to get them started indoors in the next couple of weeks. You seeds look to be off to a good start.

  5. I'm like you and start seeds inside mainly because I'm so sick of winter and need to get my hands dirty a little bit. 😉 I also am growing Morning Glory and they grow SO fast – I had to move them to bigger pots before any of the other seedlings. Good luck!

  6. Hi tvf, seems like a good thing to do if you can't garden outside. Jiffy pots are brilliant because I think you don't need to transplant the seedlings. cheers, catmint

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