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Time to start seeds for the early garden

This year, I’m determined to start everything in the garden from seed, using heirloom seeds. If I’m calculating planting dates and starting times correctly, then now’s the time to start seeds indoors for the early garden — cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. When those things are in the ground, then I’ll start the seeds for the summer garden — tomatoes, squash, etc. For the early garden, I also bought seeds for lettuce and snow peas, but those don’t need to be started early indoors.

To do this, I bought a seed-starting system from Park Seeds. This includes the growing media, the little greenhouses, fluorescent grow lights, a soil warming mat, etc.

The grow lights are hooked to a timer to turn the lights on and off as appropriate. The warming mat keeps the soil warm while the seeds are germinating.

I ordered my seeds online from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

As an experiment, I’m going to try to grow some celery. I doubt that celery will like my soil and climate, but I’m going to see how it goes. And, of course, the reason I’m using heirloom seeds is that I want to learn how to save my own seeds from year to year.

I’ll post more photos when I have some baby plants.

Park’s “Bio Dome” seed-starting system

A thermostat controls the soil-warming mat.

A timer controls the grow lights.


  1. mountain madness wrote:

    How many seeds do you put in each pod? I was told to put two or three in each pod. Did you purchase the starter kit with the 26 inch long light stand? Because the Bio dome’s are 14 7/8 long each and I see you have two under the light. I germinate my seeds in egg crates usually and just place on the back patio after they sptout but they were weak producers last year. I ordered the starter kit from the link you posted and I’m interested to see if the veggies are better producers this year using this method. The local nursery’s only have a small variety of veggies to choose from. Did you order the thermostat from the same place or did it come with the starter kit? I ordered mine yesterday… I don’t know how long it will take to ship. Here in South Florida I am kind of limited to the types of veggies I can grow in the warm season. I am planting tomato’s, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe,squash, corn, sweet potatoes, lettuce, onions and carrots this year. A lot more than usual as I will not be traveling as much this summer and will be around to tend to the garden.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    I decided to put only one seed in each pod. I got 98 percent germination except, for some reason, none of the Wakefield cabbage sprouted at all! I haven’t decided what to do about that. The light stand is 48 inches long. Yep … I ordered the thermostat from the same place. Sounds like you’re going to have quite a garden!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  3. mountain madness wrote:

    Well, I am trying to see what grows the best in the summer heat. One good thing about Florida is that I can garden all year long. I can’t grow celery, brussel sprouts, broccoli, lettuce,potatoes or spinach until September. All my favorites! But I can grow tomatoes all year down here which I love to can for my red sauces. I just have to cover them in the winter when we get a cold snap which isnt often. I would love to have some chickens but I don’t think my neighbors would appricate them as much I would… Plus my mom thinks that South Florida is too hot for chickens… What do you think?

    Friday, February 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

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