Growin’ My Own (from seeds)


I get excited about a lot of things. I’m an excitable person. For example, I was super excited to go to Costco yesterday and buy unbelievable amounts of things. Saturday, I was excited to get the footprints off my dark hardwood floors. Last night, I was excited to fold the laundry and put it away (it had been sitting there for a week, so maybe I wasn’t THAT excited about it). Anyway, you get the point.

This past week, I have been excited to start planting a few seeds to get them ready for the garden! I picked up a couple of seed starting kits at Canadian Tire and couldn’t wait to get sowing. I have been collecting a number of seeds from Greta’s Organic Gardenseco-culture and The Cottage Gardener – Heirloom Seedhouse & Nursery over the past year in anticipation of planting in the backyard of our new home. I’ve grown many things in pots in past years and have been wildly successful, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity (and space!) to do it again.

Seed Starter Kit

This is perfect because you get the little seed cups to start with. No mess, just add water and seeds!

I purchased the following organic seeds:

  • Sub-Artic Cherry Tomato/pink
  • Mixed Radish
  • Evergreen Hardy Bunching Onions
  • Jaune Flammee Tomato
  • Black Seaman Tomato/Black
  • Golden Plum Dwarf Cherry Tomato
  • Spicy Greens Mix
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Sweet Basil
  • Thai Basil
  • Jalapeno
  • Habanero
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • English Thyme
  • Salad Burnet
  • Garlic Chives, White
  • Lemon Balm

Seeds

As it’s still really chilly out and was snowing and freezing rain as of Friday, I am slowly starting to plant, fostering germination and then hardening off the plants in small batches. I’ll plan them in pots so I can bring them into the garage in a jiffy, JUST IN CASE Mother Nature decides to continue with this crazy weather.

I started with these four seeds for now, and as the seedlings are large and healthy enough to transplant into pots, I’ll start another batch of seeds.

  1. Garlic Chives

Sow seed 0.5” deep in pots or flats of soil mix. Germination is very slow.  Constant moisture, darkness and warm temperatures are required.  When seedlings are 4 weeks old, transplant in the garden.  Chives should be divided every 3 years.  Leaves can be snipped when plants are 6” tall.  You should not cut closer than 2” from the ground since the plants need some leaves to keep growing.

2. Red Russian Kale

Can be either direct-seeded or transplanted, and harvested either as baby leaf or in full-sized bunches.  For direct-seeding bunch kale, sow 3 seeds every 8-10” in rows 18-30” apart, thin to one plant per group.  For transplanting, start indoors four weeks before soil warms and transplant to same spacing.

3. Spicy Greens Mix

Sow every 3 weeks for a continuous supply.  For transplanting, 3-4 weeks prior to moving outdoors.  Sow in flats at 4 seeds/inch or in small –cell plug trays, barely covering seeds with fine vermiculite.    Shade if necessary to keep soil below 75 degrees F, on warm days.

4. Lemon Balm

Easily grown from seed, germination is best when seed is uncovered.  Ensure that the planting medium does not dry out while the seeds are germinating.  Enjoys well-drained soil in full sunlight.  Leaf growth may be slow the first year, and more vigorous thereafter.  Harvest before the plant flowers, for optimum fragrance.

And so the little seeds have started to germinate!

Germination!

And now the Spicy Greens Mix and Red Russian Kale are ready to move out of the germinator :)

IMG_0827

Left group of six: Red Russian Kale, Right group of six: Spicy Greens Mix

I don’t have these labeled, but because they are two completely different plants I won’t have a hard time telling what’s what.  If you look really closely, you’ll notice that the Red Russian Kale has a darker outline to the itty bitty leaves.

Red Russian Kale Seedlings

Look closely, do you see a purple-ish outline to the leaves? This is the Red Russian Kale.

Spicy Greens Mix

These guys are all bright green, soon to turn into lettuce!!!

And so it begins… my little herb and vegetable garden is underway.  I will be posting updates of these and everything else I plant.  I hope you enjoy this journey!

Have you planted anything yet? Are you planning on having a garden this summer? I’d love to hear about everyone else’s gardens. If you’re in the GTA I’d love to do some seed swapping too, so please get in touch!

3 thoughts on “Growin’ My Own (from seeds)

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