We planted the first seeds of 2013 today. I have my daughter help me plant; she’ll appreciate it when she gets older. Probably.
It’s still very wintry outside, but it helps to get a head start by growing seedlings indoors and transplanting them outside when the weather is mild.
We planted seeds for Park’s early challenge tomato, ichiban imp eggplant, takiis ace pepper, and yellow banana pepper. I start tomatoes this early in the hope (rarely realized) that I will have ripe tomatoes before July. The tomato plants will be fairly big by the time it’s safe to transplant them outdoors, so they go into a large pot. The eggplant and peppers grow slowly, so I start them now even though they will go into the garden later than the tomatoes.
I use fairly large pots to start my vegetable seedlings rather than the small “flats” you may be familiar with. I want to give them plenty of space to develop healthy root systems. Rather than use the flimsy plastic trays that you might find at a garden center, I put the pots into a stainless steel steam-table pan.
We planted five tomato seeds in the large pot, and five eggplant or pepper seeds into two of each smaller pot. I expect three to five seeds to germinate in each pot and I will transplant all the seedlings together into the garden, leaving enough space between each group of plants so they can all grow.