Friday, October 23, 2009

Thinking About Next Year - Indoor Seed Starting

The other day, I did some "twilight" gardening. Since I don't usually get home from work until about 6 PM, such a thing is becoming unavoidable these days. Thank goodness we have a spotlight in the backyard. I sowed some cloves of softneck garlic purchased from the grocery store (out of curiosity) and several seed mats of Tango lettuce, mache and minutina in one of my mini hoop houses. At this rate, the greens won't be ready until early spring, if at all. Oh well. I like to say that "trial and error" is the best way to learn. The shorter days are also making it impossible for me to take pictures during the week. I guess that will have to be reserved for the weekends along with any major gardening work.

Anyway, now that the fall garden is beginning to wind down (I can't believe it's almost November), I have extra time to think about next spring. One of my projects this winter will be to build shelves and install grow lamps to start seeds indoors. I will admit that I don't know as much as I should about this subject, but I thought I'd share a couple of online resources I came across the other day.

Mother Earth News' Spring Indoor Seed-Starting Guide

University of Minnesota's Article on Starting Seeds Indoors

If anyone knows of other online resources they would like to share, please do!


  1. Fluorescent shop lights work wonderfully to start seedlings. You don't even need special bulbs. The typical cool bulb works great (as long as you aren't looking for flowering inside). I tried LEDs last year but the technology just isn't there yet. It doesn't provide enough light.

  2. Same here, Thomas. I get home from work at 5:30, and can't do a whole lot before it's dark. I managed to get maybe 6 shingles installed on the shed yesterday, which is big stuff during the week! Growing your own seedlings is alot of fun, and the 4 ft shoplights work like a charm.

  3. Daphne and EG- thanks for the tip. Now I feel freed from having to purchase grow lamps.

  4. Thomas...I too am thinking about spring planting...the days are sure getting shorter....

    I have a HUGE garden spider that comes out of the morning glory at my kitchen window every evening when the sun sinks behind Bishops Peak. I love watching for her while I am making supper... Very Halloween !

    Have a great October weekend.

    More later,

  5. Hi Thomas! I used adjustable metal shelving and shop lights last winter and it worked like a charm. My biggest challenge is their location, the basement is just too cold.