Yesterday I sowed the first seeds of the season: early lettuce (Black-seeded Simpson) in one flat; celery (Redventure), onion (Clear Dawn) and eggplant (Applegreen) in another. Amie joined me to sow the larger eggplant seeds. What a joy it was to see her nimble tiny fingers handle those seeds!
Then I watered the flats and put the one with the lettuce in a cool place on our growing shelf and the one with the eggplant, celery and onion in a warm place. Our basement is chilly (62F) and the fluorescent bulbs don’t give off as much heat as we thought they would, so we added an incandescent bulb and enclosed that and the flat with foil trays (see photo). Growing mats would be ideal but they are expensive… We definitely need to work on our germination setup: enclose one entire shelf so more flats can be kept warm.
There was so much to keep in mind! How moist the seed mix should be, how much space to leave on top, how much to tamp it down. Then, how deep to sow the seed, whether to cover it or not, and whether to put it under lights or not (celery and lettuce, for instance, need light to germinate, the others are light-neutral, but as I had a long stretch of light on anyway…). Then, how warm they should be..
I enjoyed the sowing: it was very meditative. In fact, I started at 5 and only when DH and Amie came downstairs, complaining they were hungry, did I discovered it was 8!
But I must admit I was nervous. I may have sown some seeds as a very young child: I have some very vague memories of my sister and me having each our own little plot… But really, I hadn’t a clue! The knowledge that mucking up this one seeding would cost at most $2 worth in seeds, soil and water and that there are many more seeds in the packets… didn’t help.
I kept telling myself: “I’m in for it now!” We’re seriously doing it. Done with the talking, the dreaming, the planning. We have to do it now. And do it right, because each of those flats really represent more than $2 now: it represents many, many more dollars in food down the line. Food for our family, friends and some extra for the food pantry in our community. It represents a self-sufficient, more resilient and healthy future. It represents, for me, a dream come true.
Tomorrow I’m sowing a couple of tomato plants (to see if I can grow some extra early), thyme and lavender, and I’ll soon follow up with peppers, broccoli, more lettuce, and squash.