Sunday, May 5, 2024

Planting indoors

It's waaay too early to plant much outdoors – we're still seeing the occasional below-freezing temp in the early morning – but it's not too early to plant indoors. Most things I plan to direct-seed in the garden when the weather warms up, but I wanted to get a jump-start on tomatoes, basil, and cayenne peppers.

I set up a card table in front of our western window to supply light. I also put the trays outside in the sunshine when temperatures permit.

Here are cayenne seeds from our last garden. They always take a long time to germinate, but grow very vigorously once they do.

I'm trying a new variety of paste tomato. I did a search for the "meatiest" variety, and this is what I found. We'll see how they work out.

I also picked up a grocery-store packet of cherry tomato seeds. Cherry tomatoes are a favorite of Older Daughter. Therefore it was necessary to keep track of what is what.

The basil seeds also come from our last garden. We do love our basil.

For tiny seeds like these, I prefer to use a seed spoon.

The seeds are just starting to sprout. Here are the tomatoes:

A couple of the basil plants of pushed up.

The cayennes, as mentioned, will take considerably longer to germinate.

As you might have noticed, I'm anxious to get my hands in garden dirt!


  1. I always compete with my neighbor starting plants early, but he doesn't know it. I saw he had tomato starts under grow lights at the end of January. I have a greenhouse so I started tomatoes, cotton and tomatillos. Now my tomatillos are 2.5' tall with blossoms, tomatoes have blossom and cotton has started flowers (no bolls yet). I'm in south west Idaho and the weather has just been uncooperative to plant outside. This Friday it looks like I should be able to at least get the tomatillos out and If I have to provide cover I can wrap the cages with plastic. Next year I vow not to start seeds till end of February.

    1. That’s cool that you are growing cotton. We are in Texas and are surrounded by cotton fields and have thought it would be fun growing my own. Where did you get your seeds?

    2. What are you going to do with your cotton and how much are you growing? A lot of cotton grows here in big fields.

  2. Sorry ot, but I couldn't comment your column in WND. The giant hand shaking our jar is the one of God's. He is shaking the jar to remember He is there. He wants us to start seeking him again.

    Soros and others are mere tools in His hands.

  3. I start my own tomatoes and peppers also. I do 3 heirloom tomatoes, if you would like I can send you some seeds this fall. I have Bill Bean, a very large red meaty tomato, Amish Gold Slicer, a little sweeter and a large Roma which is great for sauce. Sometimes I mix all three for our canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. I have been starting to harden off my plants and now we have cold rain and snow flurries !! I live in a 55 plus community and only have my large patio, but I manage to raise quite a bit. Happy Gardening!

  4. I like for things to serve a dual purpose whenever possible. With that in mind, and since they are so readily available, I like to stock grow bulbs that fit in my available light sockets. They also tend to be L.E.D. bulbs which means low power usage. So if a light is used a lot, it gets to give me work light and also contribute to growing plants. These are easily switched around so they aren't wasted, because they are a little more expensive up front. They really help plant seedlings not get so leggy and grow faster as well.

    My seedlings get started in the oven when the pilot light is on and each 6 pack goes in its own baggie to keep the humidity in. My grandmother taught me to start seeds in the oven when I was a small child. She didn't have electricity then, but did have an old gas stove. Dark, warm, and humid and they pop right up. Even okra. In lieu of that, I just put the seeds in warm water in the oven and they sprout in a day or so. Then you can plant them in cells. This includes tomato and pepper seeds. My okra seeds went from hard and dry to sprouted in 2 days in warm water. Then planted an inch deep, and two more days and they are up out of the ground!
    I like to soak seeds I'm not sure about viability of before commiting to putting them in their little grow cells because it's really fast. It also doesn't hurt to add a small amount of nutrients to the water.
    My tool for planting is a set of needle nosed tweezers with a magnifying glass on the end.
    The wonderful thing is, life loves to multiply! It's not persnickedy about how you go about things, including short cuts! It just wants a chance and it's off to the races!
    One things about starting seedlings is that it costs and arm and a leg to not do it yourself. So however you do it, just do it. We can all learn more along the way.

  5. I started our plants this year in mid March. They are coming along nicely and I hope to get them in the ground around June 1. Glad to see you have yours started also. A garden just seems to me to make the whole world a better place. I can go into it and the worries and cares of everything just fall from my shoulders as I admire the wonder of God's creation of everything all from a tiny little seed.

  6. Hey Y’all. In regards to cherry tomatoes, my hands down favorites are Sweet Millions, and Sungold (aka Sun Gold). Both are very prolific (grew them in Michigan). The Sweet Millions are very sweet, and the Sungold are wonderful combination of very sweet and tangy, described by someone as “a party in your mouth.” The Sungold never get red but remain a beautiful orange color. But watch Darcy. Our dogs went absolutely nuts over both varieties, sneaking to the garden whenever they got a chance.