Friday, December 31, 2010

Seeds Started - Let the fun begin!

If you live in Central or South Florida and have a vegetable garden, it is time to start seeds!  Yesterday, I finally got myself out of holiday mode and thinking about next year's garden...  I got all the seeds out of the refrigerator and sorted out the ones I wanted to get going this week.  They soaked overnight, and this morning they went into labeled ziploc baggies inside soaked, unbleached coffee filters.

I've been using this system for a couple of years, and it is what has worked best for us so far.  I soak the seeds overnight, then put them in wet coffee filters and over the hot-water heater until they sprout.  Because in the winter our house stays pretty cool, the water heater is the best, warmest spot to get seeds started.  The temperature there stays at around 80 degrees.  I've especially noticed a big difference with pepper seeds.  They used to take up to three weeks to germinate before using this method.

So, what did I start? 
Tomatoes - Stupice (I'm really looking forward to this one, it's a new one for us), Amish Paste, Pink Brandywine, Sweet 100 (cherry), Roma.
Peppers - Corno di Toro, Bulgarian Carrot, Jalapeno, Quadrato Giallo D'Asti, Sheepnose, Paprika.
Eggplant - Black Beauty, Fairy Tale

I expect the tomato seeds will be the first to sprout in the next few days, followed by eggplant, then peppers.  I'll plant them in flats at that time, then the challenge begins.  Keeping them warm enough for growth, with enough light, and well watered and fed for the next eight weeks, waiting for warmer weather will be very important if we want to have nice, healthy plants to place in the garden at a reasonable price. 

This weekend, I hope to start a few flowers and herbs directly in flats.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!


The Whimsical Gardener said...

Looking forward to seeing how your seeds fare in the new year! It's so cool to watch them grow isn't it? I planted some bluebonnet seeds in the fall and I noticed a couple sprouting this morning!! Yeah! Happy New Year Mary!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the description of how you start your seeds. I'm still a newbie gardener in south/central FL and I find it so hard to find good information on gardening in Florida. Last spring I planted like they do "up north" and I'm sure it comes without any surprise to you that I was extremely disappointed with the results. This year I know a little better, but it's still a work in progress. I have a great idea for what to do with my seeds when they get here next week. Thanks!

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...

Interesting!!! You sprout your seeds before planting!!!

Can't wait to hear more!

It's bitter cold here in northern Wyoming... 5 degrees and with the wind chill must be below zero!

Darla said...

This makes sense because peppers need bottom heat to germinate. Do you grow rooster spur peppers?

Verde Farm said...

That’s amazing. You just got your latest crops and already germinating for next planting. What a blessing your weather is :)

Sall's Country Life said...

Oh now you've given me Spring fever!!It's a full blown blizzard here on the plains of South Dakota, but just hearing about someone sprouting seeds is music to my ears! Good luck with the little seedlings, I'll be checking back for medicinal purposes.HaHa!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

So lucky you have a farm. My property is too small to have a substantial garden, but it will be fun to read all about yours.

Mary said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving your comments! I checked on my seeds this morning, and I have an upddate I'll be posting about shortly.

Kelly - We did the same thing with our first garden, planted according the northern timeframes... a flop! That was many years ago. :)

Barbie said...

ACK Mary! You've got the jump start on me. LOL. I've been out of town. I'll be starting on/around the 15th with my first seeds. I really prefer direct planting for most of the garden. TIme to get a moving!

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