For our 2017 summer garden, we started seeds
probably a little too early. We still had great success with seeds though. We just started everything indoors under grow lights. Most of our seeds were started int these little boxes that J made. We did use a seed starter tray also, but we found that the boxes were easier and less messy. All of the tomatoes were started this way. We watered them with a spray bottle 2-3 times daily and rotated them under the grow lights.
After the seedlings were larger, they were transplanted into cups. Each cup was labeled and filled with dirt then the seedlings were popped out of their trays and planted. This was pretty easy. While doing this we also made sure that any plants that seemed weak were either completely culled or left in the trays to continue to grow before being transplanted.
Transplanting these were a great time to include a toddler. We didn’t really let him handle too many of the tiny plants but he was great at dumping dirt, making a hole, and helping to get the plants into their space. He also really loves to use the water bottle.
We used the cheapest plastic cups (I think these are 8oz) and we drilled a couple holes in the bottoms to allow drainage. On days when it wasn’t chilly, we brought the trays of plants outdoors for direct sunlight instead of the artificial. This is probably better for the plant, but it cuts down on the electricity being used. Granted, hauling them in and out wasn’t the most fun.
After the weather temperatures were safer and more consistent, the plants got moved to “the salad bar”. A great little make shift greenhouse type area. It’s a piece of chain linked fence + plexiglass. And the cups fit just right!!!
After the plants were large enough and we were confident that the ground temperature and weather would be ok, we moved everything into the larger garden. From there, we just reused the cups, and cared for the plants in the ground. We ended up with WAY too many plants and we gave a ton away. We didn’t have the harvest that we were expecting, but we have some ideas as to where we can learn and change some things for next summer. Stay tuned….next week I’m sharing our mistakes and some fun tips!