Loving My Seedlings, a Lot!

I really am! This appears to be my breakthrough year in the seed starting world. I think I got it and I love it! The time that I spent this winter reading and researching really seems to be paying off. I have quite a few plants ready for the garden now and there are more coming. Next year, look out, those seed companies won’t know what hit them! Did I mention that I finally got it and that it’s fun?

Okay, enough… here’s what I have at the moment:

IMG_5728This is my seed starting set-up. It’s simple; two shop lights with one fluorescent and one plant bulb in each. Next year I’m hoping to add a third light in the middle so that the entire table is covered.  I used the plant bulbs here at home, but at Bass River (work) I used one cool white and one warm white bulb. The seeds did very well there but I do see a faster growth rate and a sturdier plant with the plant bulb. The idea is to create light that mimics the light outdoors and the plant bulb is much brighter which is ideal for seedlings that would thrive in full sun.

IMG_5727These cantaloupe and watermelon seeds emerged from their bags (you can read about my handy dandy bag system here) the other day. They’ve been living in soil for two days and their well on their way.

IMG_5725This is cumin and purple alyssum. I have a love/hate relationship with these jiffy pots. They dry out quickly and I need to keep a very close eye on them. Actually, keeping a close eye is very helpful to new seedlings, peat pot or not.

IMG_5721The cilantro on the left is organic slow bolt, and the pots on the right are coriandrum sativum… there’s kind of a big difference in success rate so far.

IMG_5720We’ll have three varieties of basil this year; Genovese in the back, Red Rubin in the middle and Siam Queen in the foreground.

IMG_5714I started a little bit of summer squash in a jar a few days ago, planted it in the soil last night and I think they’ll be ready for the garden by the end of this coming week. I have some new ideas to help deal with the squash bugs this year so I caved and planted zucchini, even though I swore I’d take the year off after last year’s difficulties.

IMG_5702Up in my office the marigolds are showing their second set of leaves. I’m probably moving them outside later today to maximize the light and good air circulation.

IMG_5695These pumpkins and cucumbers from a few weeks ago need to be planted out asap. The weather looks pretty good so they should be in by Monday.

IMG_5691 If I could go back several weeks, I would have transplanted these tomatoes into larger containers. I think/hope the yellow at the bottom is because they need more root space. Looks like it’s time for these to hit the garden too.


As you can see I have a lot more to do. The carrots need to be direct seeded, the beans will follow the peas that are growing, and the squash will probably be quick started then planted outside in the next week or two. I think I missed the window for growing peppers. What should we do? Start them indoors now anyway, direct sow or buy some plants?

IMG_5733My little girl started these seeds all by herself.

This is the best motivation in the world to share the garden with my kids, and with all of you. 🙂

Hope you plant something today!

Love, Michele





  1. Looks like you’ve got a successful system going there. I put most of mine in but have some others I’m holding for a plant sale and I’m donating some to our local senior center. Seedlings – they are a wonderful thing. 🙂


    1. I do, but I still haven’t gotten the reflective blankets going, I’m working on that. I wanted to link to your post that talked about it but I couldn’t find it on your blog. Now I realize that I could have read back through my wp comments to find it. Seedlings are a wonderful thing!!


  2. Buffy says:

    You are right! Starting from seed is very rewarding!


    1. Hi Buffy! It is!


  3. Bob Grasmeder says:

    Hi Michele. Last year there weren’t any impatiens anywhere at the garden centers (sorry, don’t have the patience for starting from seed – that and my brown thumb!). I heard there was a disease affecting them but this year they are everywhere. Are these more disease resistant or are they just selling them to make money?


    1. HI Bob! The downy mildew that affected impatiens last year will winter over in the soil and is likely here to stay, so yes, their trying to make money. I had several pots of impatiens last year that were fine but the mold is a spore so if your neighbors have it, it will likely hit you too eventually. There are some wonderful alternatives that like shade like begonias, coleus and lobelia, and lots of less common options. Let me know how it goes and give Joanie a hug for me!!!


  4. How fantastic! Everything looks like it is doing well and coming on really well. I have just a few seeds that I’ve tried this year – definitely a learning experience (some good, some not so good)! It’s nice to see what success looks like 🙂


    1. well, it’s not over till it’s over Dana. I’m holding my breath and hoping. It’s fun to try though, isn’t it?


  5. nutsfortreasure says:

    Me too! Great post! Mine are on the porch in their little greenhouse getting ready for the warmer weather Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


    1. Happy Memorial Day Eunice! Hope you get them outside this weekend!!


      1. nutsfortreasure says:

        Been outside non stop[ shoveling and digging and shoveling some more 🙂 I am feeling awesome 🙂


  6. Betsey says:

    about the tomatoes…you can plant them deep and they will root out, so don’t worry about the yellow leaves, just pick off and plant that area into the ground.


    1. thanks Betsey! I’ll definitely do that. Do you think the yellow is because the container isn’t big enough? I’m hoping it’s not any type of blight already!


  7. Dustytoes says:

    I am going to try starting some things from seed next year. You will have quite a crop. Hope the yellowing tomatoes make it – I think they want to expand and soak up some real sunshine! I’ll think of you Monday when it seems we will all be busy planting.


    1. Yes, out into the sun their going, hopefully in the next twenty-four hours!


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