First Seeds Started

In past years, I have always started my seeds too early and ended up with leggy, unhappy seedlings. So this year, I made myself wait until 3 months (12 weeks) before the last frost date to start any seeds, and I am spacing them out more carefully. I hope this results in happier seedlings. I also have a grow light, now.

Yesterday I started seeds indoors: celery, celeriac, and leeks (2 varieties to space out harvest) under the grow light; and onions, napa cabbage, and cabbage in the window. Both flats are on heat mats.

Today I built my first-ever mini-hoop house in the backyard, and planted endive, more onions, and mache’ (corn salad) in it. I built the mini-hoop house with hardware cloth, a row cover, and garden staples. It won’t stand up to heavy snow, so it’s not a winter hoop house, but I’m hoping it will stand up to the winds and light snows of early spring. So far, the cover hasn’t blown off with the mild breeze we’ve had today. (Well, it’s a mild breeze for eastern Idaho, it might be considered more of a stiff breeze most anywhere else). If it continues to hold up, I will post a how-to article here. I am planning to build a more substantial hoop house next fall for next winter, but I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with stakes, heavy-duty hoops, and half-frozen soil today.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the plant nursery to pick up some large peat pots and new gloves (I go through gloves like you wouldn’t believe). I couldn’t resist two tiny kalanchoes in bloom, one pink and one white. They are very sweet.

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  1. Best wishes to you. Our den is overflowing with onion, lettuce, parsley, tomato, and pepper seedlings under grow lights right now. We’re hoping to put the onions outside for a few hours per day very soon. Sounds as if we’ll see spring here in western PA before you will. Thanks for post.

    • Ooh — I wish I had that much right now! I will have that in a month or so, but I’m really trying to start everything at the right time this year. We’re just happy here that it’s above freezing during the afternoon some days now.

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