Hooray, it’s time to start your seeds indoors. Somehow, no matter how tired or busy I am, I seem to be able to muster the energy to start my seeds. Starting seeds brings visions of a beautiful garden and plates full of tasty veggies. Last Saturday was a hectic day around here with what seemed like an unending list of chores. But, in between chores I did get my seeds started. Even though I have doubled my garden size this year I still do not need 72 of any one variety of tomato, pepper or eggplant. 72 is the number of cells in the commercially available seed trays. I probably don’t even need 18 plants but I like to make sure I have extras.
This year I decided to do things a little different. In the past I have not had much success with the labeling of my seed trays in order to keep the varieties seperate. Previously, I have labeled the lid. But, the seedlings grow and lids come off and the guessing games begins. Did the lid go on this way or this way? So a new system was born.
I painted numbers on the side of the trays and then used my gardening journal to note which seeds correspond to the numbers. On the ends the trays, I also put a number. This seems like a simple solution to my problem, not sure why it took me so long to come up with it. The next thing will be the labeling of the pots when they get up potted. Which has also been problematic, but that is a problem for another day.
One tip I have when starting seeds is to take note of germination rates. Tomatoes take 7-10 days to germinate, while peppers take 10-14 days. This is important to know because if you plant multiple varieties per tray, it is best that each tray have seeds with the same germination rates. Once your seeds germinate it is time to move them under a grow light or outside in a protected area. Having seedlings in the same tray at different stages of growth makes this more difficult.