Seeds, Growboxes and Gardening – Oh My!

It’s that time of year again, time to get organized to start some seeds for the veggie garden. Last year was the second year that we used Jack Spirko’s Grow Light System
We had one box the first year and upgraded to 3 boxes last year.

Here are a couple of videos I took of our seed starts last year:

Grow Box Starting Jan 20, 2011

More growbox starts Feb 14, 2011

My seeds are far from being organized, yikes.

My Seed Storage “Method”, I think there are more in a drawer somewhere

I once made a list of them, but I have misplaced it. I tried to put my seeds away in air tight containers (I use my foodsaver attachment with my mason jars), but never put them away properly last year. Getting the seeds started was a large enough goal and I just couldn’t keep up with everything.

We started almost 95% of our garden from seed and bought some herb plants. We had delicious hybrid tomatoes, despite having some blossom end rot due to all the rain. Our peppers never did great because their position in the garden was too shaded. The zucchinis did OK, even though they had a rough start due to the chickens pecking them when they were little transplants.

First Ripe Tomato (Early Girl?) June 29, 2011

One thing my husband and I agreed on last year was I would be in charge of seed starts and he would do the transplanting and tending. We both canned the excess; it was our first year to can tomatoes last year. It helped us to divvy out the responsibilities, because I was feeling overwhelmed with trying to transplant, but Pat was happy to. Communication is tough and is sure important for these kind of tasks we have found around here on the homestead.

I would like to try some heirloom tomato varieties this year, but I haven’t made any decisions. Learning to save seeds of the tomatoes that we grow is a goal, that’s why I would like to have an heirloom variety that will breed true and I can try to regrow the next year. Hybrids are delicious and yummy, but they may not be the same when started from the saved seed the next year, I’m sure they would be tasty tomatoes though. Some heirloom varieties have been handed down for generations and bred for certain characteristics and I think that is really cool to learn about in all of the awesome seed catalogs that I tend to drool over.

I’d like to grow watermelons again, for some reason I never started any seeds last year, but the year before my children loved the watermelons that came out of the garden. Pumpkins, more kale, swiss chard and comfrey is on my list as well. Starting to thing springtime thoughts over here at Locust Farms.

What are you thinking about growing this year? Please let me know, I’d love to hear your plans.