Ever since we started our garden three summers ago, the third weekend in February marked our “Seed Starting Day” for the year’s garden. This past Saturday marked this occasion and a wonderful day was had by all. As I said last week, I was feeling the need to get in the soil and grow something, so I was very happy to see that day pop up on our calendar!
We normally start the morning off with some sort of yummy breakfast, made with products from last year’s harvest. This year I made pumpkin scones, and they were delicious! (This recipe to follow in a post later this week.)
Then the girls drew pictures of what they thought would happen to the seeds once they were planted.
Here is my five year old daughter’s drawing. She said, “This is a picture of a pot, with the plant marker and a few sprouts coming up. The sun and rain are coming down on the sprouts.” Such the gardening expert!
This is the drawing my two year old completed. She said, “This is a plant with a rainbow.” She is on her way to garden expert status very, very soon I’m sure.
This year for our seed starting mix, we took a five gallon bucket and filled it up half way with compost from last summer. We then mixed in one small package of coir (coconut husk fiber), which helps to retain moisture much like a peat mixture does.
We mixed away until we had a nice ground mixture, perfect for seed starting.
Then my husband and girls got busy planting tomato seeds (Amish Paste, Martino’s Roma, Speckled Roman, and Italian Heirloom…all my favorite tomatoes to make tomato sauce with in August), basil seeds and Butterfly Weed seeds. The girls were really able to contribute to the effort this year and it was awe inspiring to see those little hands working the earth, and instinctively knowing how to plant these small seeds so that they will later grow to provide us with a bounty of vegetables.
We keep our seeds in our craft room in our basement. My husband hooks up fluorescent shop lights that can be moved up as the plants grow. He also hooks the lights up to a timer so that the plants can get 14-16 hours of light per day. We also put an oscillating floor fan in there with the seeds to help prevent mold or fungus from growing on the surface of the soil.