Fresh From The Garden...

Welcome to my new blog... My First Vegetable Garden. It is dedicated to new gardeners and I plan to blog about and video the entire 2014 gardening season.

I will cover and teach you about every aspect of home gardening that you can think of! Please follow my blog as it will take you from starting your own seeds to harvesting 2 pound heirloom tomatoes and more! Learn how to grow the vegetables on your right...

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Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Seed Starting Set Up

Indoor Seed Starting

Indoor Seed Starting

This page holds all my blog entries that fall into the general category of 'Seed Starting'. You will find an article and a video attached to each link posted below or you can just watch the video. These links only take you to blog articles I wrote for this blog unless noted. Enjoy!

How to Make Your Own Seed Starting Mix & Potting Mix: Save 75%
You can save a lot money off the cost of the pre-made starting mixes and potting mixes. An 8 quart bag of seed starting mix will cost about $4-$5 in the stores. You can make the same size bag (8 quarts) for about $1.50. The main ingredients in starting mixes are typically peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. You need peat moss and either one of the second ingredients. You can use all three if you want.

How to Start Rosemary Indoors: Start Early!
You can start rosemary indoors 10-12 weeks before your would put it outside. A lot of herbs can be started quite early indoors as they are slow to germinate and grow. Rosemary is one of those herbs. You only plant 2 or 3 seeds to a starting cell as one plant will grow quite large. Letting it establish indoors will really let it take off when the planted outdoors in the warm weather. You should get enough growth that year to use it in your kitchen!

Cucumbers like the warm weather. It is best to start them indoors about four weeks before you have regular 60 degree nights and when the garden soil is warmed. That is about one week to germinate. Two weeks to grow indoors and one week to slowly be acclimated to the outdoor sun. You can push it a bit at mid 50 degree nights if you want. They seem to grow best in the 65-85 degree day range.

There is not a great advantage to pushing them out the door early. They like the heat and mature quickly like in 45-55 days. They will just sit there in the ground if it is too cold.

How to Seed Start Chives & Thyme Indoors: Over Seeding Method!
You can start chives and thyme indoors 10-12 weeks before they could go outside. I show you how to over seed them as a planting method. Both herbs are very strong and very hardy and the single cell you start them in can be divided, when the plants are big enough. A lot of herbs can be started quite early indoors as they are slow growing plants. These are not herbs to plant as just 1 seed... over seed!

Thyme seeds are quite fine and I must put in 20-30 seeds per single seed starting cell. Chives are much large and probably 5-10 or a bit more go into the cell. The reason is that both plants have very strong root systems.

How to Seed Start Sage & Lavender Indoors: Slow Growers!
Sage and lavender are great aromatic herbs. They do get large but they start out small and are slow growers. They can take up to 3 weeks to germinate. You can really start sage and lavender indoors 10-12 weeks before the garden will be ready for them.

Sage and lavender can handle frost and in Maryland Zone 7, they are perennial herbs. They come back year after year and take our snows and freezes. They are sturdy herbs. I like to get them into my garden in the first week of April. I am not worried about frost with them. My goal is to grow them indoors to size so they really establish the first year and maybe even flower.

Assembling a Collapsible Vegetable Grow-Light Station
I have been talking about starting seeds indoors and thought I should include something on lighting. Here is one design for a collapsible grow-light station. You can start seeds with it and maintain larger vegetable transplants. This is not the construction video but I do provide the link for the complete build, including cost for parts, in the video.

A Basic Tour of a Vegetable Seed Starting Grow-Light Close: Considering One?
This is just quick tour of my grow-light closet I use for starting my vegetable seeds indoors. I don't have construction video for one but thought I would show you a basic design in case you would like to build one in your house or garage.

The materials are pretty inexpensive. You can even buy plastic shelves and set them in a closet. All the supplies can be found at your standard Do-It-Yourself stores.

How to Seed Start Oregano Indoors: Over Seeding Method! 
Oregano is a great herb that grows slowly when started by seed. You should start oregano indoors 10-12 weeks before it would go out into your garden. You want to put transplants into the garden that will mature and be used that season!

Oregano germinates pretty quickly in 7-14 days but it grows slowly. Once it gets up to size and the outdoor temperatures warm... it takes off. Oregano seeds are quite fine. I don't plant nor do I recommend planting just 1 seed per starting cell. The over seeding method I use, and that has been successful for years, is putting 20-30 seeds per cell. You will be planting a clump of oregano versus a single plant.