I was finally able to get some seeds started today. Since the snow lasted so long it’s a late spring, but when we garden we learn to take things as they come, right? So today was my day to get some soil and seeds in small pot. This year I’m trying a new soil for seed starting and so far I love it. The Organix Base Soil Mix is high in coconut coir, light weight and (a personal bias of mine) doesn’t have too much pearlite in it. I filled the pots and then watered them, and because there isn’t that much peat moss in the blend the potting mix didn’t repel water the same way that most medias do. NOTE: this base soil mix needs to be augmented with nutritional components – I mixed mine with some Plant-tone and once the seedlings have germinated I’ll water using a liquid fertilizer to support the plant’s growth.
When starting seeds the most important thing is to read the information on the packet. Seed companies are very good about telling us what the ideal conditions for germination are, and the smart gardener pays attention to what’s on those packages. As I sorted through the seeds I wanted to start I found two, Ammi and Larkspur, that sprout better when they have a chilling period or fluctuating day/night temperatures. I chilled the larkspur seed for the required number of days and planted both outside so that they will go through the next few weeks of cold nights.
The larkspur package also noted that these seeds germinate best in darkness, so I knew that I should not only cover the seeds with a light layer of potting mix, but I should also put something solid over the pots for awhile.
Other seeds will get started in my solar-heated shed in the next few days. It’s already almost too toasty inside this shed on sunny days, so as the tomatoes and other seeds sprout I will be opening windows during the day and closing the shed up tight at night, depending on the weather forecast.
Every spring as I start seeds I remind myself to look for the information about germination, not only on seed packets but in my life as well. There are times when the signs, clues, or signals are right for starting something new if we will only pay attention to that information. In the busyness of our days, and (this is a huge one) the on-line distractions, it’s easy to miss the germination information that’s around us.