I’ve talked a lot about urban gardening this past month and finally started my seed project this afternoon! Growing from seeds was always something I thought was for primary school science projects or grass seed; that gross green blue papery stuff my dad always told us to steer clear of when we were kids playing in the yard. Some years, he’d even go so far as to place miniature stakes and string marking off the bald patch and for a few weeks, it’d be this off shade of green in comparison with the real grass. After awhile, though, a few bits of young grass would poke through and then we really weren’t allowed to touch it, let alone trample on it on our way up the tree. But, growing seeds isn’t just for children or lawn grooming – surprise! It’s actually pretty satisfying and relatively (my fingers are crossed) easy to do.
For a long time, I just assumed when the end product mattered, gardening – like the ability to grow an edible carrot – it was for people that knew what they were doing. Well, if my seeds grow in my tiny greenhouses, it’ll turn out that ANYONE can do it! So, we’ll see where the seeds are in a few weeks – hopefully on their way outside to be hardened up before being planted.
If you’re interested in doing this on your own, I would suggest doing some online reading, book reading or checking in with your local plant nursery if you don’t already have a first-hand resource to go to. In any case, these are the steps I took.
Choose your seeds! I had a lot of fun picking which herbs I wanted. In a true process of elimination, I went with the ones I found myself returning to the grocery store for again and again. Rosemary, cilantro and dill. I also picked up some lavender, chamomile and chives. Once we figure out the planter situation for the back porch, I’ll move on to things like tomatoes, tomatillos, strawberries, sweet peas, peppers, jalapeños and flowers.
Buy some supplies. I didn’t need anything fancy, just some seedling pots and a small bag of seedling soil (I honestly don’t even know if I needed to be especially picky here, but I wanted to make sure I got something that didn’t have Miracle Grow in it, since we’re going to be eating these, not looking at them). Oh, and a spray bottle. We didn’t have one laying around the house, so I spent a whopping $2 and purchased one.
With the seedling pots, I made sure I got the kind that are biodegradable and can be taken and planted straight into the final container. I figured this was the simplest route because I won’t have to pry the plant loose later on.
Get our kitchen table dirty!
For about thirty seconds, I tried to contain the mess and then just decided I didn’t care enough. Going by a combination of directions from the back of the seed packet and consulting the urban homesteading book, I used a pencil to plant the seeds at about the right depth (I hope.)
Spoon a little more dirt over the top and press down loosely, like you’re tucking something in bed. No need to pound it down. Then, spoon a little more dirt on top.
Wet the little dirt patches thoroughly with some tepid water from the spray bottle. To avoid making our table even more suitable for mud pies, I did this part over the sink. I’d have taken an action shot with the spray bottle in there, but I only have so many hands.
Next, arrange/finagle these little seed homes into some kind of plastic bag. I used gallon sized ziplocks and labeled them accordingly so I wouldn’t forget which was which.
Squish them together on a windowsill and hope something grows!