Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Started Some Seeds Today

Today I went ahead and started some radishes, spinach, and romaine lettuce.  Sounds like a tasty salad, doesn’t it?  I had some help from my little gardeners, especially Elias, who is working toward his gardening merit badge.  Unfortunately for Elias, the merit badge is more than just sticking seeds in soil; he also needs to do some research to complete the badge.  He’s not so keen on the actual reading and writing part!

If we can get these seeds to harvest, he will have completed a portion of his badge.  He also needs to raise three vegetables from seedlings, so once the weather gets warmer he can choose some seedlings to transplant.  I wonder if it counts if I start the seeds and then he transplants the seedlings?  I have some beans planted and I was going to start peas once things get a bit warmer.  We’ll probably be doing tomatoes from seedlings.  That just seems to work better.  That will complete the vegetable portion of his badge.

He also needs to start three flowers from seed and three from seedlings.  I’m not quite as keen on that part, since I would prefer to use my gardening space (which is very minimal) to grow veggies.  I suppose we could have another crack at sunflowers, but that didn’t go too well last year.  Strawberries, tomatoes, and zucchini grow out of flowers… does that count?? 

I used some pellets we had left over from last year to start the seeds.  I picked these since they are cool weather plants, and the weather has definitely been cool!  We did eight pellets of radish (two seeds per pellet), eight pellets of spinach, and four pellets of romaine.  I labeled the rows for a change, so we’ll know what’s actually coming up. 

My labeled seed in their pellets in the "mini greenhouse."

 According to the seed packets, here’s the details on each of these:

Radish – Scarlet Globe:  I can keep starting these every two weeks to keep a nice crop of radishes going.  The seeds should sprout in about seven days.  I’ll thin them then (and have a little microsalad, haha!) and transplant them outside.  I can harvest them in just 24 days!  Talk about immediate gratification.

Spinach – Olympia Hybrid:  This one should sprout in about seven to ten days.  It sounds like I can have a spring harvest and then another one in fall.  I can start thinning when the plants reach about three inches, so I’ll transplant at that time too.  I should have a harvest in about a month and a half.

Romaine lettuce:  This should sprout in five to ten days.  I’m supposed to thin when the plants have three true leaves.  I’m hoping the temperature isn’t too warm inside for these.  If they don’t sprout when I’m expecting them too, I’ll just start a batch outside since they apparently really like cold weather.  Another batch I can start up again in the fall.  I wonder, since we don’t get that many freezes around here, can I plant spinach and romaine year around?  It would be great to constantly have fresh salad greens right from the garden! 

I’ll snag some pictures when the little guys start sprouting.  I’m looking forward to it!  I’m going to pick up more seed starting stuff the next time we go to the store.  Hopefully I can start kicking the garden into full gear now! 


  1. You could do spinach and romaine year-round. I'd probably keep them either inside by a window in the winter or under a tarp-tunnel (NOT the technical name) outside. You can also get slow-to-bolt summer varieties, although I'm not sure how that would go on a balcony.

    We planted all the same stuff today, too, expect the spinach was the Bordeaux variety. Fun times!!

    1. Woohoo! I definitely plan to! The seed packet said that lettuce won't sprout in the summer... is that true or does it stay cool enough around here that I can grow it during the summer too?

      I'm looking forward to trying different things :D

    2. That's typically true, but if you have a place that stays cool and just pull it out for some not-so-hot morning sun, it should be fine. I know spinach (and I'm assuming lettuce) has slow-to-bolt varieties, so as long as it sprouts you're fine. In other words, don't plant lettuce during the 2-week time frame it's in the 80s:).