Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Seed Starting 2012

On this, the first official day of Spring (although you wouldn't know it with 4' feet of snow currently on the ground,) I've decided to share my list of what plants I have started under my grow lights, and what I will be starting soon. I'm a few weeks behind this year, but I figured that it will work out well since I'm guessing it will be months before we can see actual dirt again.

Currently growing:

1. Tomato 'Red Robin' - I'm growing this guy solely as a houseplant, with no intention of putting him outside. It's a very dwarf variety of tomato, only getting 8-12" high, and can grow just fine in a 6" pot. It's a perfect fit on my grow light shelf, and the tomatoes, although small, are the best tasting little suckers ever. So sweet they're practically candy.

'Red Robin' seeds available at totallytomato.com. I have no pictures of ripe tomatoes because I ate them all. 

2. Assorted herbs - basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, green onions, and oregano. I start all my herbs much earlier than necessary so that I can use them for a while during the winter before moving them outside. The basil, however, remains inside. I can't get it to do well in our cold Alaskan summers!

3. Leeks - these guys take a long time to mature, so I generally start them in January or February.

4. Celery - ditto.

5. Cobaea scandens, or Cup and Saucer Vine. I start these guys at my house for work, and move them to the greenhouse later. I should have started them in January, and didn't get them in until early March, but I think they'll still be big enough come actual spring that they'll bloom for us this summer.

Photo courtesy of Park Seed, which is also where I happened to order them.
6. Sweet pea 'Zinfandel' - a fragrant, deep burgundy sweet pea. This is my first year trying them, so we'll see how it goes.

7. Snapdragon 'Chantilly Deep Orange' - an open-faced variety, still my favorite. Snaps also take a long time to mature, so I generally start them in February, and pinch them back a couple times before they finally make it to the garden.

Snapdragon 'Chantilly Deep Orange'
Seeds I will be starting in the next two weeks:

1. Tomato 'Glacier' - forget 'Stupice.' This is my new favorite. Very tasty, and produces well in cool weather.

2. Petunias - I still haven't decided on a variety, but it will probably be the magenta wave type, as these tend to do really well for me.

3. Dahlia 'Aurora' - if I ever get around to calling the guy who sells the tubers locally, that is. I probably should have started these March 1st. Oh well!

Doesn't this just make you go "Oooooooo....."? Photo courtesy of The Persistent Farmer, which is where I plan on buying the tubers if I ever get around to it.

Anyone else have any seeds started? Trying anything new this year? Know the perfect time to start that perfect plant? Feel free to share!


  1. I am so behind on my seed starting...in a bizarre turn of events, we are experiencing temps average for June. No one is sad about global warming, ha! But what it does mean is that all of a sudden my cool-weather growing season is shot and I'm a little worried that I won't even have time to get my warm-weather seeds started and out before it's too late. At this rate, we could plant tomatoes in a month, which again is so not normal. And I haven't even ordered my tomato seeds yet! Ack! You just never know what to expect from year to year, do you? Thanks for the post, Gretchen! I love reading these!

    1. I wish we were having June-like weather here. We still have four feet of snow on the ground! Still, not knowing what mother nature is going to throw at you year after year is part of what makes gardening so challenging and fun. Good luck, Erin!