Seed Starting 101 – Part 5: An Update

Happy Monday everyone! Today I thought that we would take a picture tour of what’s going on with the seedlings that we started earlier in Seed Starting 101 – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. They’ve grown up quite a bit and most of them have been planted in the ground. The pictures that are in this post are from a couple of weeks ago. Let’s have a looksie…

seed starting 101

The four rows at the bottom are two types of onions: Granex and Yellow Spanish. The row above the onions is the eggplant and the rows at the top are members of the brassica family: broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

seed starting 101

Here are some asparagus babies. I know that most people buy crowns but it’s more fun to start them from seed. In the next picture, you can see what last year’s asparagus seedlings look like.

seed starting 101

Aren’t they cute? Sure they’re not big enough to eat but perhaps next year we’ll be able to harvest a few.

Let’s look at the brassicas that I started: broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

seed starting 101

In this picture, I wanted to point out a few things. First of all, look at how many plants are growing in the one peat pellet: 3. Of course, that’s too many and they need to be thinned. I prefer to thin the seedlings when I am planting…that way, if the stems get broken on the way to the garden, I have a backup. Pinch off the seedlings that you don’t want…don’t pull them or you run the risk of disturbing the roots of the seedling that you want to keep. Also, look at how flimsy my plants look when compared to the broccoli in the 4-pack in the background. I’m not worried a bit about the flimsiness; if the stem decides to bend back towards the ground when it’s planted, it’s OK…the broccoli will taste the same in the end and the plant will be none the wiser.

I also wanted to point out that gardening is not about perfection…it’s about experimenting and learning what works. Who cares that your broccoli lean to one side or that your cucumbers curl instead of growing straight? Find wonder in the plants that you can grow that the plant tags say you can’t because your climate is too cold. Or too hot. Or they need full sun. Or they need full shade. I dare you to push the envelope this year…plant something in your garden that you’ve always wanted but haven’t tried because a magazine said that it won’t work in the Mid-Atlantic gardening region. Perhaps you don’t want to start with a $150 tree but try a $8 perennial. The joy that you’ll receive from it, even if it only lasts one season, will be worth it in the end.

So, what have you started from seed this year? Leave me a comment below or e-mail me at And don’t forget about our contest to celebrate our 100th post. Subscribe to the website for e-mail updates and share one of our links on Facebook. Once you meet both of those requirements, I’ll throw your name in a cyber hat for a drawing. Let me know if you have any questions about the giveaway. Happy gardening!


April 2, 2012Permalink Leave a comment

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