Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Indoor Planting

I picked a bouquet of lilacs this morning. I hope the leaves will pop in a few days. We are hungry for green. 
We are enjoying another setback in the weather outdoors. 
Indoors it is time to start some seeds. We have a heat mat for some of the starts. Other seeds will germinate without the added heat. 
Most seeds will sow directly into the soil outdoors when Spring arrives. 
We are longing for flowers, it's nice to feel like I can give Spring a little help. 
I use peat pots and provide the final dampening to planted seeds with a spray bottle.  
In memory of my grandparents, I use some recycled containers. They are the ones who patiently taught me to plant indoors in the Spring. We used waxed paper milk and cream cartons that we rinsed and saved, then cut down.
 Mom would order the kids seeds from the Gurney's catalog. I think these packets were probably packed up from what was swept up from the floor in the seed sorting room. Each contained a generous variety of flower and vegetable seeds all mixed together. They sold the packets for pennies. I remember sitting at the dining room table sorting the seeds from that packet into egg cartons. Starting with the easy seeds, beans, peas, corn, and working down in size, marigolds, possibly zinnias, radishes, carrots, and more. I couldn't stand the thought of a mixed up row of everything in the garden, although there were always a few strays in the kid's rows from the smallest seeds.
Planting mix, which I buy by the bag, fully prepared, Grandma and Mom brought in from outside in pails. They heated it in the oven to kill any weed seeds and bacteria present. I didn't realize it then, but they must have gathered it in the Fall. 
I cut slits in clear plastic dry cleaning bags, then loosely cover some of the pots during germination. These will stay on for just a few days. The air holes ensure there won't be mildew starting, the plastic keep the moisture even.
I liked the advice to have patience, important for every gardener. 
I tie a string around all the pots with one variety and label a popsicle stick to help me keep track of what I plant, just like Grandma did with the milk cartons.
We wait in GriggsDakota
And weather our setbacks, which is forecast to total ten inches.


  1. The garden seeds I ordered are the hope we have for Spring right now. I'm planning a lot of starting of seeds within a couple weeks Mom. We'll use your advice and expertise. Of course you can also come help plant if you would like too!!!
    Happy Snow Day

  2. I am so excited to see your post! I makes me want to get things ready for my garden! I am going to expand significantly this year with hopes of donating to the school in the fall! The best was the photo of the Bells of Ireland " Have Patience Erratic Germination". I think everything in ND has erratic germination!