In this episode, we're talking about the benefits of starting your garden from seed. We're focusing mainly on starting seeds indoors before your last frost date and sharing our favorite seed companies.
Links mentioned in this episode:
How to Start Seeds Indoors - The Rustic Elk
Mary’s Heirloom Seeds
Half gallon pressure sprayer
Acid sprayer for vinegar
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welcome to the beyond the home, said podcasts. Today we are talking about growing your own garden from seed and the benefits of starting your own see its urgent started. I know I do most of my seedlings from seed. It's a lot cheaper for me. I like the variety, especially because I like to go a lot of heirlooms. I also try to use organic seed as much as possible, and so that way I'm able to start things the way I want them started. But, you know, everybody has a little bit deeper experience. I know that starting from seed could seem intimidating for a lot of folks. It does require a little bit of pre planning, and so we want to try to help take that anxiety away from you and and show you that it's really a lot easier than you think.
Yeah, we started our first garden from mostly seed and I thought because I had never really grown anything before that it was going to be an epic failure and I discovered that it actually was easier than a few plants that I ended up buying from the nursery to keep them alive and I actually thrived a lot more than the nursery plants
said, Yeah, I've had that problem, especially with getting started Herbs. I've had so many fungal issues with stuff that I bought from the store that the ones that I've started from seed have been a lot healthier. And I'm sure part of that is I'm a little bit picky about the soil that I use. And I think that, you know, the better start that you can give a plant, the healthier it's gonna be over also, the better cameras, this disease and passed. And I'm sure that a lot of these, you know, big growers and big box stores and stuff like that are just using the cheapest materials they can, too, just to get the product out the door,
right. And you have to think about when you're buying start from the store where it came from and what kind of soil it is in. And if if you're adamant about organic gardening than you might not want to buy the nursery plants,
right, well, and there's even some brands of soil. Well, some brands in general because they go beyond just soil that, um for various reasons. I don't like to support those companies. And so even though they sell organic soil mixes, I don't like to buy there. We're gonna slow mix because it's still putting money in their pockets. So I'm fortunate to have a garden supply store in Tampa that I can go Teoh, Um, probably every couple months, because I'm not super close to them. But they have a lot of organic options and like some bag soils and things like that that are not available at the big box stores. And so I like to go there because I kind of I trust those brands a little bit better. I've had a really good experience with, um starting seeds in those soils, as opposed to some of the stuff gone for big box stores. Which is almost been
more like dust. Yeah, I bought some a couple of years ago that wouldn't even hold water. So
yeah, that's not real good. I I know
I would to get all my pods wet and they just watered a settled shop. And I mean this. I let them sit there for like, 20 minutes before I got back over there, too. I still had water just sitting in the toppling. So I had the
Yeah, I've been that problems oil. I've had that problem with a lot of soils that are a peat moss base because it seems like once they get dried out, um, I mean, unless you just soak them in a bucket of water, then the waters beads off. And even if you're watering, the plants are still not getting it, getting it not getting any in the roots. And it's just, you know, it's just not a good environment for the planet I've been. That's one reason why I switched to making my own soil. Blend is I can use more of a coconut for base, and it seems to absorb water a whole lot easier. And you can
find seed starting soil that will work at the big box stores. And I know a lot of them are hearing a lot more organic options than the were a few years ago. It may not be a company that you necessarily watch support that, you know, beggars can't be choosers.
I know. Well, I'll tell you, um, I actually found a pretty good organic soil mix at Wal Mart Um I guess my only complaint would be that it seemed to have a lot of mulch, which when you have big pieces of mulch and you're trying to start seeds, it doesn't work so well, Um, but for just a general potting rex, it was actually pretty good. And it was not like a big name brand and another
benefit of starting your own seeds. Nobody touched on a for a minute. Um, is you get a large variety and you can choose heirlooms, and then once you get going, you could actually save those, whereas hybrid varieties, you're not gonna be able to save because they do not bring true. And, uh, I like the heirlooms not just because I can save them, but because a lot of them are kind of cool. And I like Teoh and it I like the whole spot of being a part of something that my ancestors worked really hard to accomplish. And a lot of those air heirloom seeds, you know, we took them from overseas and brought them here when we came on the Mayflower and those kinds of things. I just think that's kind of neat.
Yeah, especially like the Cherokee Nation's been in the news a lot recently with their seeds, and they're finally able to get their seats stored in, um, the seat like the big seed banks, which is a big step for them. But I know we've grown. Some of their seedlings are there. Some of their seeds are based off of their seeds, like the Cherokee Purple Tomatoes and
that they do The painted Mountain corn was set. Cherokee,
you know, I don't know.
We do some of that.
Yeah, I've got I don't know if it's painted Mountain, but I've got the I think it's glass Jim. Now it's hot. I've got one of those out of my garden right now. I'm not entirely sure it's gonna do anything, but I'm gonna cross the fingers. My daughter wanted to plant it. That's one thing. That's one thing I really like with the heirlooms is you get a lot of color variety and yes, I really like anything that's kind of, you know, against the grain and not really the norm. And I don't want my kids to get so focused on what they expect food to look like, that they won't eat anything That's not for the norm. Eso, you know, like doing? Um Well, they're called like blue tomatoes, but it's almost like a black ish bluish, purplish like cherry tomato because it was the one. The one I did last year was Atomics. We're like,
Yeah, I know you're talking about.
Yeah, uh, they're not even like a cherry to me. They're more all along but and yellow peppers. And then my kids want to do the carnival blend of carrots, which is like, you know, you're purples and reds and yellows. And so yeah, we We like Teoh do a lot of different things and just kind of have this colorful garden as possible. I love like rainbow Swiss chard. I love cooking with that. I love eating it, growing it. And then it's funny when I goto like these nursery events, these farmers markets and I meet these older folks that they only want the green Swiss chard because they don't trust the red Swiss chard. We
like the the Black Nebula. Carrots, Harold Dark purple.
Yeah, I haven't tried those. My sister lives from Turkey and I guess her her parents grow these. I don't even know if they grow them. But there's a a carry over there that's red. And then they make this fermented drink out of these red carrots, and I guess it's really very popular. That's another benefit. Your kids. Oh yeah, I I always joke that none of my produce actually makes it to my kitchen because my kids go out and eat everything out of the garden. But, yeah, they love their vegetables. And I'd much rather have that out there snacking on that, then potato chips and hot dogs and, you know, but the less healthy food. Not to say that I don't eat some of that, but
someone was asking the other day how they could get their child. You and I'm like, involved them in the entire process, and you'll be amazed how much larger their diet variety is. And I'm not just talking, you know, preparing food is great and a lot of people are trying to do that more. I I've seen a lot of people more involved, you know, involving their kids in the prep work and actually cooking the food but involved in the entire process. And then, you know, they know how much work goes into it and they know where it came from. And I I think that, you know, they're just like anyone else. If they if they know the kind of work has to go into it, then it's not. It's not as hard to explain to them how hard it is to produce it as it is to explain to them how much money it costs.
You know, I don't know what it is. There is something about like they're just more interested in more invested when they've had a party. Yes, definitely. And I know like my daughter is such a picky eater. But if I can get her involved, even the cooking of the meal, then she's twice a likely to eat the food and the same thing. Yeah, I get them involved in the gardening. They love to go out there and help me start seeds, especially if it's something that I'm direct sowing because then they know that seed they planted produce that plant that's going there now, right? Yeah, He has
loved to help with the gardening. They like to dig the seeds up, but well, I mostly my toddler
Well, yeah, there's that My kids will claim plants is their own and in fact, don't even claim, like whole garden beds is their own. But, um, like I have, they have named a pepper plant that I have named an eggplant, and kids have a way of just controlling everything. Jeez, yes. And it's not hard,
and it shouldn't be overwhelming. Our first year, we didn't start a ton of seeds. We had a really small garden the first year we grew because we lived in town still, but I thought it was gonna be scaring overwhelming. And I'm going to be starting almost 200 plants this year Total. So wow, you know, it's possible.
Yeah, well, and, you know, and I won't say that I never get seedlings. I mean, there there are some things that are a lot easier to get as starts, and then you propagate them from cuttings. Then just start them from seeds. I I will tell you right off the bat. And I mean, if anyone is listening to a couple of asses in this podcast, they know that my arch nemesis seems to be Rosemary. You thought, um, I don't know anyone who can actually start rosemary from seat. Everyone I know, start. And I think you've mentioned lavender before too. It's just a whole lot easier to start them from cuttings.
Um, I I started some last year, but it
didn't. Yeah, and like, I've got, you know, I've got Rosemary Seed that I'm gonna try it again.
I've got some going, but they're not looking promising already.
And he's it. And like, I'll tell you so Basil is one of those herbs that I cannot lie from the store because every time I bought it from the store, it's it has some kind of fungal issue, and it dies, like within a few days. And so I end up every you know, every time I grow Basil, I grow from C. But it's not the easiest thing, and it's not, you know, I get great germination out of it, but then it will come up, and either something eats those young seedlings or it just kind of putters out, and I only end up with half that actually turned into full burn plans. But that's one thing you learn as you do it from here two years, you know? Okay, this one is gonna have a tough time getting started. I need to plan for twice as much of it.
And you know, if if your seedlings fail and they don't Germany or you know, the plant just doesn't early, it gets too leggy or whatever. You probably still have time to start it over. It's not, but there's nothing. There's nothing wrong with going to the store and buying. You know, if your plan didn't start, then it didn't start. Go to the store and buy. When it's, you know it's okay,
Well, and I'll tell you, leggy seedlings or not the end of the world, if one I've had people accuse me of leggy seedlings when it's a vining plant, all right, I'm like, Have you ever grown api? Uh, or okra, for that matter, But anyway, But you know, there's a lot like tomatoes and peppers and eggplants, that bigot liking you just transplant them and bury them a little bit deeper. Next time,
exactly, you can you can transplant seedling all the way up to their top leaves, right, and it will. It will still grow. And there and the worry on the ground, the larger the route basis that going to be a stronger plant will be
like you've got some. I know cucumbers don't really like having too much of their stem buried, um, squashes air. Usually pretty good, because they'll usually put down some roots along their vine anyway. So you do have to kind of know your plan a little bit, but a lot of times your seed packets will have that information. Or, you know, if you really have questions, you can look it up online. But you know, it's it's trial and error, and if you're really worried, then you go ahead and you restart some seeds and you can still try to transplant that. But now you've got some backups just in case. And as faras
starting them, it's, you know, it's fairly easy. You need to have some starter meant you can buy it pre purchased in a bag already mixed up for you, or I know I have a scene starting post on my blawg, and there is a little recipe for seed starting mix that I've made before. That works well.
Yeah, and you can even if you can't find specifics and you need a mix, you can get potting mix, but I would sifted a little bit so you can get those big pieces out a lot of times. If you're doing seed starting, you're using smaller containers. Then, like if you're filling the gallon container kind of thing like all usually use small pods toe to get my seat started, and you don't want those big chunks in there just because they're they're gonna end up taking up too much space and then your seeds not going anywhere to put down roots. But I wouldn't You know, just don't if you can't find seed starting mix. Don't think it's the end Albil.
No, I usually try to use seed starting mix. It seems to work a little bit better, but you don't have to have
it right, And I'm not a necessity. Yeah, I know folks, that'll just start in straight core. It's just that I would never try that. Yeah, just It's just, you know, core doesn't have a hole in the nutrients in it. The seed itself has all the nutrients that the plant needs to get started. But once it gets that point where it's growing, it's starting to put out roots. You're gonna want to transplant into some an actual soil so it can get those nutrients sick of you,
right? I think one of the biggest problems that I've noticed people have is ah, their seedlings tend to mold. And a lot of times that is simply because you watered it too much, especially depending on the seed starting soil that you use. Some of it holds a lot more water than you think it does, and people tend to douse the soil When then you have mold issues.
Yes. Yeah, You need to make sure that it's draining well, so you need to have some drainage under your tray. Um and I've even if you're starting indoors, you can actually get, um I used the 10 20 trays, but you can get them with and without holes. And you see this a lot. You see this a lot if you get the micro green growing kits. So you have, like your one trade that has the holes that you put your soil and your seeds and then the tray underneath that doesn't have a whole sort, holds that water, and then it's not dripping like all over your table and stuff like that since you're starting inside, but you give you water your plants and you give it, like 1/2 hour to soak in. And then you pull that top tray, and if there's still any water in that bottom tray, you don't get out. You do not want your roots sitting in water because that's gonna cause a lot of fungal issues. And also, it's gonna invite a lot of pest feed on your roots,
right? And if you want to try toe not over water them, you can just spray them with water. Just give them a little drink as opposed to completely dousing your entire tray. Yeah, I know what you're saying about holes, but your, uh, your the trays should have whatever you're growing in a container that you have it. And regardless of what I should have holes in it so that the water country now I don't know what you said,
So I'm sorry. Oh, did you lose me? No, I didn't lose you, but talking about micro
greens and some don't have holes,
E All right, You know what, a 10 20 trey is right? Yes. OK, so you've got some You order that have the holes in the bottom of the drainage, and then you've gotten some You can order the just solid trays that
don't have. Okay, okay, I see what you're saying. See under your 10. 20 OK, I
guy. So it doesn't leak all over the table, right? I get, you know, just the
regular flat trays that they sell with store have. And then it's got a trade underneath it. Yeah, you're sold a
sets, right? That's that's what I was comparing to the micro green sets because that's how that's how they're set up to. Um, I've never gotten micro green. So I was I was just growing microgreens. And so that's what's at the front of my mind. Oh, come, Yes, but ah, yes. So making sure not over water. And even so, most of my seed starting I do outside because I'm in Florida. But our love I know you know, um, I have a nozzle paid, but just remember, I can't really do a whole lot in summer. I have a spray nozzle for my hose, and it has the shower setting and also has a Mr setting. And before my seeds come up, I actually just water with that Mr Setting, because what I found is if I water with the shower setting, it floods my trace. And then also all have problems where the seeds end up floating up out of the seed mix and ending up like somewhere else in the trap. Oh, fun. Yeah, so obviously, is the Mr Setting, Um and I'm doing that every morning. So it's not like it's watering super deep, but my seeds aren't super deep at that point. So I'm really just making sure that you know that top layer where the seeds are staying moist, and then I could water a little bit deeper as they grow. So it's encouraging those routes to go down deep. But my trace have holes in the bottom of them. So whatever, doesn't it utilized by the plant dreams at the bottom, in on the ground
or into your bottom trade? If you're starting indoors
well, right. And that again, that's what I was saying is, then you check like if you're doing this indoors and you have that bottom tray, you check after about 1/2 hour, you drain out any extra water that's still in that bottom tray,
right, and I use a spray bottle inside when my seedlings haven't quite sprouted yet. That's that's how I keep mine. Missed. It is like you said, if you over water them than your ceilings, you don't you don't plant him very deeply. So they end up floating to the top and maybe even around the trade, because there's too much water standing on it,
right? Yeah, we actually, because we've been growing fodder inside and we have those half gallon pressure sprayers you can get from tractor supply, and that's what we use toe water, the fodder. And it's just a quick missed over the top, because fodder is always prone to mold issues and so we don't want over water it. We don't want sitting in water, but it's just enough to keep those seats voice so they sprout. And some
plants are a lot easier to start from C than others. Like, uh, I know I don't usually have a problem with it, but a lot of people say they have problems starting onions from seed. You have to start really early in the season. At least here. I don't know how you guys doing down there, but and
I'm still trying to figure out what those proper window is for starting onions down here from seed. I know we can start sets right now, but it almost seems like we have to start them from seed in the summer so that we can put them in the ground in the winter. I
don't know right up here. It's, you know, like 10 to 12 weeks. It's It's the first thing that we usually start, and so some things are a little bit more difficult. But a lot of times your issues, or either water or light and sometimes heat. When they were first getting into Germany like peppers and tomatoes, the heat now are the top. Your refrigerator. Put your ceiling trail top not to keep your soil nice and warm, because that's what's gonna encourage them to germinate and pop up through the soil.
Yes, yeah. What I've noticed is a lot of your cool weather crops in your herbs. Much anything that's gonna be grown for, like the root or the leaf, likes a cooler temperatures almost like 50 to 60 degrees for germination. But then you're warm weather seeds like your squashes and peppers, especially peppers, peppers, love, heat and humidity. So you really want to have a humidity dome over them as well? And then tomatoes, they like heat. And so a lot of times, especially if you're starting of inside up north, um, you're gonna wanna have a heat tread or a heat mat underneath your tray so that it heats up that soil because they want, like, about 70 degrees for germination,
right? And in this faras the humidity dome. If you do not have one, it's not the end of the world you can use like a piece of plastic wrap, because you're only gonna leave that on until your ceiling start to sprout anyway and then pull it off. Yeah, and you do not need to leave the heat, not all unnecessarily. Once your ceiling since started to get established either because you're going to end up getting a light over them. And that light is going to hopefully help. How in the hell you're right.
Yeah, that biggest thing is just getting the seeds to Germany because I'll tell you, I mean, it can take two or three weeks at least to get peppers to Germany. Yeah, they're just They're just slow to get established.
And a lot of that is the heat thing. If you get the he under and keeps ah, soil temperature where they really like it feel comfortable, they're gonna pop up a lot faster than if you try to get them a germinate room, temp soil or whatever it may be wherever you're growing your seat links. And personally, I think that everyone needs grow lights If you're starting your seeds indoors, I've tried to do it without role ICTs and what you end up doing is your plants try to stretch. We have a lot of south facing windows for your minutes, trying to stretch to reach that sunlight coming in through the windows. And then a lot of people have low t glass, and so they're not actually getting as much light. They're not getting the right rays of lights through that glass, but they are. If you put a grow light over them
Sprite and they really need overhead light to grow straight up because, yeah, otherwise reaching yeah, otherwise, they're gonna be leaning towards the window, and you can you can try turning your trays, but it's You're always gonna end up with leggy seedlings that way because they always feel like they need to stretch. Whereas if you have those grow lights, you can have them just above the soil. And then, of course, as your plants grow, you want to keep raising them. But you still you want to kind of have them just above them, so those plants never feel like they need to reach. So that way, you're gonna end up encouraging
a much stronger stem and base for your plant, right? And you can, like, this time of year, you could buy the grow lights that have stands on them so that you can set them on a table above your ceiling trays. They're usually about the size of a seedling tray, so they actually stretched over it. They're kind of expensive.
Yeah. I mean, we got reasonable ones that have arms on them that you can clamp to the side of the table depending on how many seed trays you've got going. But those arms can allow you to adjust it so it's over. Your try
that this year we are. I just ordered some new ones, and they're just the blue red light eso I'm gonna test him out and see how they work.
Yeah, I'm curious to look in those two because I've heard, like, pros and Collins, as far as it could be. A little bit more of a risk. Two people being around the lights. And so that's what I want to do some more research on. But it seems like people are getting really good results as far growing with, um yeah, what is it? It's a different UV lights. It gets just for you. It's the same battle drum, right? A
spectrum that they get helps the chlorophyll generation so that the land can actually photosynthesize the way that it naturally would have the sun because those are apparently the rays that it pulls out of the sunlight, right? Yeah, exactly. According to science,
according to E. But, I mean, who listens to science anymore? Yeah, and I think that's one of the things that, um, I read is like being a side effect is people won't realize the rays that they're getting from those lights and so they can actually give themselves a sunburn being too close or being under the lights, too.
much. Why are they under, um, their plants should be under
him. I don't a number holes. Yes, people do dumb things. Thats is true. I mean, listen, let's take a moment to think about the current state of society. Let's not Oh, okay. Back to gardening. Yes, Uh, something else is your airflow, especially if you're starting indoors, because that can lead to a lot of your bundle issues. Even mold on your soil or getting like black spots in your leaves and airflow can also encourage stronger stems for your plants. So what a lot of people will do is put like an oscillating fan by their grow trays. So it's not blowing directly on the plants all the time. But you have that oscillation, so it's turning. And then they're just kind of getting swept, almost like they would naturally, if they were out doors,
right? Yeah, we use fans or, you know, some of the cooler weather stuff, which most of it, it doesn't really pop up is high, but or if it's warm outside, you can prop open a window and just let the breeze kind of get your plants. If you don't have a fans around or you don't have the option of, you know, plug one in close by or whatever.
Yes, I was just thinking. I was thinking It looks like I know some Some people start in there either in their garages or in their basement. That may not have windows, but yeah, that's true. If you're if you've got a window nearby, you can also open.
Yeah, well, I'm crazy and start line in the middle of my living room. So I
mean, you lice creating obstacles for the toddler toe make like, more interesting.
Yes, that's exactly why I do it. I just have this, like, huge table. When I that's what works for us. I just bring out this big table, put a bunch seedling trays on it, and then once the plants start getting too big, I'll translate into a bigger pot and leave and sit there until it's time to put him outside.
I still have my Christmas tree ups or whatever. Yeah, exactly. See, you have no room
to talk. My seedlings are wear. My Christmas tree sits so
we're talking way. We're talking about airflow in studying the accuracy
ling trays, and I mentioned a window when you said I was crazy.
No, I said you were crazy for putting your seed starting table in the middle of your living room. That's the riddle. It's up against the wall. Okay, well, still, Yes. All right. So supplies. What's Yes? What supplies? I know a lot of people are gonna ask. Like you know what seed growers should go with. Yada yada, I think I don't know. You know, seat suppliers ends up being such a personal preference. I know we both get a lot of seeds from Mary's heirloom seeds. Um, she does great deals when she has the 99 cent seeds so huge shout out to her for that. And then I also I like that she's originally from Florida, and that's actually how I got to know her was she was in a bunch of the Florida Garden groups that I meant, And so she actually has pages on her website for, you know, recommended seeds to start each month. And then she also recommends varieties that do well in Florida. And she has some different stuff. Like, I got my my Peter Pepper seeds from her, which I actually have like for plants that are growing from those things right now, I'm pretty excited. I don't think I'm gonna sell any up. I think I'm just gonna keep my family peppers, all of myself. I
wanted to order some of those and forgot.
I don't know. She has the right now. Like I think she sold out. But it runs on. She depends on when she gets new ones. And yeah, I like I like the She has a bunch of heirloom. She has a lot of stuff that you don't normally see. She's been adding a lot of varieties, so she has a really good selection. And then, yeah, she throws in free seed packets. I think it's free shipping if you get 10 packets or more. And body has seeds and Bonnie has seen, um I know it's kind of funny. I'm talking about all these seeds I get from somebody else when I sell seeds. But, um well, OK, so I so I have my nursery, and my biggest seed supplier is botanical interest seeds. Um, and I focused on there organic line, but it is a huge selection, but at the same time, there's a lot of stuff they don't have. And so I will order from Baker's Creek and strictly medicinal because strictly medicinal is does have stuff other than just medicinal herbs. They have quite a few, um, vegetables and culinary herbs and stuff like that. And I like their scenes because a lot of there's organic, and they also focus on open pollinated untreated. So I've gotten really good germination results in their seeds. Most of their seed packets, um, well, actually have the germination rate on the seed packets in the last time they tested the germination for that batch of seeds. Eso I really their their company. I really trust, uh but yeah, so you know there's there's like there's certain things that I know grow well here in Florida. And if botanical interest can't supply those varieties to me than I go and find them from other companies, that I can provide it to my customers. But that being said, um, I have an over abundance of seeds because I didn't sell everything from 2019 and then I got my full supply for 2020 and then I had health issues, so I wasn't able to make it Tuas many events in the fall. And now, thanks to a pandemic, all of my events for the spring mike it cancelled. Um, so I I have discounts running on my seeds at kitchen botanicals dot com. If anyone wants to go and check that out. Uh, and then, of course I have, Like all of my I have everything marked whether it's bird 2019 or 2020. But the 2019 seeds, all 30%. Often I'm shitting everywhere, so well, shipping in the US. So yes, please go to know what site and see what.
And we used favorite Baker's Creek. They have, ah, they have the whole seed catalog, but you have to buy. I think it's like $10 but they also have a free see catalogue that has runs of those
guys that you can go to their website and actually request the free catalogue. It has only other seeds. The nice thing I like with the paid catalog is it's a magazine slash Kavlak, and yes, so you get some really good like organic gardening articles in there and in a lot of stories behind the seeds behind the company. There's a lot of information that
I actually saw a for sale at the bookstore.
Oh, wow. I don't really just Well, I don't I don't make it toe brick and mortar bookstores very often anymore. But we
don't either. But I just happen to notice they had it because I had recognized the picture was like a taboo
Holsey, right? I know, I know. I saw it at Tractor Supply, and I almost picked it up, but I'm broke. So and I need more seeds, like I need a hole in the head.
Yes, there is always that. It's kind of like chicken map. People just remember you're gonna buy way more seeds, and you probably ever They will typically stay good. And you can always trust the germination. If you're not real. Sure, before I try to start planning them to make sure that they dio
Yeah, most sites are gonna last for, like, 2 to 3 years and even, you know, yeah, you might see a decrease termination at the end of those three years, but you just played a little bit extra most the time. These seed packets sending you more than enough seeds and you're going to see packet for less than a single seedling would cost you a store.
Right? I also use heavens harvest there from Florida.
I haven't even heard of that one. I'm
in a silly it. Of
course you are. You're like non affiliate for anything else. Except for a scene company in Florida. They have survival seed kits. That was a ceiling
packets, but, um, I have a big bucket of survival seeds. They're in. These really need. Kind of like survival food packets where they They're like foil packets and a zipper closed. Um, there seeds are guaranteed. I do believe I would have to make sure I'm I want to say 10 years. Okay. As long as they're stored correctly. And I've had really good luck with him.
Yeah, There was another heirloom seed company. I got tomato seeds from a couple years ago, and now it's gonna bug Miyake removing that all of their seats came in to may toh. Urgh. Tomato grief came in, came in foil packets. Did notice that the seeds I got from them I'm still getting good germination from I think I finally plan to the last of their tomato seeds, but they they did a thing a couple years ago where you could get, I don't know, a dozen packets of tomato seeds like it was the seed packets. There was a grow kit. There's even like some little bottles of fertilizer that came with seeds. And it was something ridiculously cheap, like five blocks. And I got some cool varieties from him. And, um, like I know I might still have their Amish paste seeds, but a friend of mine grew there, almost paste tomatoes, and they were the biggest paste tomatoes I've ever seen. So you need
seeds. Who we mentioned a few companies that we've bought from and trust, and then you're gonna need something to a medium to put them in. I usually use seed starting mix. You can makes your own, or you can buy organic seed starting mix repurchase premixed at the store and you need a container. There are tons of different things that you can use just started seeds, and you can use your imagination. You don't have to have specific 10 20 trays in order to start seeds. Um, you can use a cartons egg shells. I've seen people use like Citrus. Ryan's, um means, you know, the sky's the limit I actually have opposed about. I think there's 13 or 15 free steam starting containers that you could probably find and just sitting around your house.
I've seen folks you and then you like the disposable bathroom cups. You know, the little paper cups. Yeah, um, I've seen I think we've even used take home trays from the restaurants. Yeah, um, it was heirloom solutions. That's the company I was trying to think of that had the soil practice seats. Anyway, the thing about
starting seeds and anything is I even like the cups, which is what we a lot of times transplant, too. I usually go ahead and take him off. I know that seedpods that you can get, like, the things that are wrapped up and they expand when you put water on them and all that stuff. First off, I've noticed a lot of mold issues with those because you have to get him. So went to get him to expand. And another thing I noticed is the netting that's around him. A lot of times it doesn't biodegrade the way it's supposed
to. Yeah, I had. I've had that problem with Pete Pots a lot. Um, again, I'm for a number of reasons. I'm trying to get away from Pete in general, but I started using cal pots and they looked just like Pete pots. But they're made from Commodore, alright And dried Commodore. That's good. I know, I know. But they break down really, really well. And you figure they probably have more nitrogen atom then like pee pots itself. So they're able to kind of see the plant a little bit better, right? If you do happen to see those, I said don't tend to use the black plastic pots because, like, I'm with fellow. Oh, yeah, definitely.
But I always you know, I recommend people regardless, what you grow it in, you're probably gonna want to take it out of the pot before you put it in the ground. Regardless of how it states that it's going to biodegrade or not biodegrade because you end up with a root bombed and you have problems because your roots can't go with any to go, right? I actually found part of a pot. I don't know. It was when we were still in the city and it had been there hurts, like fewer for years. And there was still her of the entire top. Like it was so a full circle. Oh, well, in the
dirt. Well, and that's, you know, you really don't wanna let your seedlings get written about if you can help it. Because, of course, the more constructed your roots get, the more it's gonna stunt the growth of your plant. And that's one thing that I have a problem with with buying seedlings, especially from this big these big box stores. One they tend to over plant the containers. So So it looks more full, so it sells better. So if you get one of these containers that has, like, 10 cucumber plants coming up in it, Bill even like because you're gonna have a really hard time separating them and just they're not gonna do roll well, because they're just they're so frail. Um, ends. But yeah, you think it, they get root bound, and then you have those issues. Now I tend to try to break up the root ball as much as possible. So, like when I take something out of a container, I'll turn it in my hands and break that ruble apart at least four times on, you know, one on each side. So that way it encourages more root growth, and it breaks up that root ball. So then that route, those routes are going to expand and try to reach out, done to the ground. But sometimes they're just so bad off it. Even that doesn't help. And I can start
in the anybody pods and you can move your science into a larger container. You know you don't have. They're not confined to that small space. I don't think once you start the ceiling or just gonna leave it in there until he put in the ground. No, she like here, here in Indiana. You're definitely going to be moving them into a larger pot before they ever make it outside.
And tomatoes tend to do better if you transplant them a couple times before you put them in the ground. Yes, something about every time you transplant them. It's almost like it stimulates more growth. So it'll seem like they kind of level off and then you transplant him, and then they shoot up again, and then he transplant again. this shoot up again? Um, and you know, a lot of your night shades. They're gonna have those those stems where they can develop roots anywhere along the stem. So each time you're transplanting it, you buried a little bit deeper, and now you're root balls, get a little bit deeper,
right? And if you're using, like, the plastic 10 20 trees and stuff, you can reuse them. You don't have to throw those out and start all over again all that stuff. So, you know, I don't like plastic, but we do use plastic a lot to start our season because I just put it up when we're done with it at the end of the season, and we just reason the next year you could disinfect them. Some people are really big about this. Infected them some people to spray him out and start over again. You know, that's entirely your choice.
Yeah, I had some issues with, um for sure. Um, Wilt with my peppers this year. And so, like, those containers that those plants were in are definitely gonna get leeched. But for me, um, going to events and things like that. You know, the plastic makes more sense for me because the one that's gonna hold up better, like, take plants to different events. But then also, you know, I always end up with some waste with some, you know, plants that didn't sell or didn't produce or whatever. And then I can clean out those containers and reuse them, and it keeps my costs low. So then un don't happen to charge an arm and a leg to my customers for their plant. So it's a lot more economical because, yeah, I'm going to get as much use as much life out of those plastic containers as I possibly can. And then hopefully my customers are taking those home and also reusing them or recycling them. All
right, and you're gonna need something to put your ceilings on, you know, like I said, I just use a table and I put my trays on the table and I, you know, set up grow lights around everything bugging mats and all kinds of mess and what my toddler stays out of it. But you know, people can start seeds on their refrigerator in the kitchen counter or, you know, you know, just find a little bit of space for your trays. Well,
and I'll say, you know, those plastic shelves you can get, like Wal Mart are really cheap. And there's some grow lights that you can string up below each of those shelves. So then you can have, like, a show, you know, couple of trays on each shelf and and start several seedlings that way as well.
And you can build a shelf. I mean, my husband's built stuff, you know, for me, toe dry so often things on before you could. You know, if you have scrap lumber laying around or whatever, use your imagination, and then you're in any grow lights, some some sort and, uh, humidity. Don's don't help, he mounts, so don't help. Don't hurt. I'm sorry.
Uh, yeah, well can help. Yes. And also like because, you know, because I start my seats outside. Um And hey, we may have plenty of listeners that are also starting seats outside the humidity dome. Still on a bad idea outside for a couple reasons. Uh, at least here in Florida are humidities at the lowest in the winter. So we still need to try to hold in some of that humidity to get some of those seeds. Especially like I said, peppers. Um, and even a lot of if you're trying to grow tropical seeds, um, papayas, dragon fruit. I'm sure there's plenty of others. They like humidity, and they really need, like those tropicals, your elderberries. Another one. Um, that soil needs to stay moist for this tropicals to Germany, and so that's humidity. Domes help toe hold that moisture and keep that soil and waste. But, um, I don't have anything fancy with my set up outside. I actually have, um, sawhorses. And then I have to buy four stretched across the sawhorses and a piece of plywood on top of the two by force. And that's what I use for my seed tables and then my one gallon containers. I just have a tarp laid out, Um, and so the the one gallon containers are on those tarps. I could get seed fabric, but Army not see the, um, I need fabric, but that stuff's expensive. Was it by the role of it?
And it breaks down after a while. Well, it
depends if you get the commercial grade stuff that's more like canvas. It's not asked that I do not like that plastic stuff because it is just worthless. In
my opinion, yeah, we haven't been showed up front where they put Goldstone this fun times, right? Well,
and before I had a lot of experience with it. That's how I'd set up my garden. My flower beds is I put down the weed fabric or the plastic stuff. You get it walmart, oarlos or whatever and then put the mulch on top of it in a The stupid weeds grew through it. Yes, they dio. And then, um, after a season or two, it's It completely breaks down, and it's just like shredding underneath. That's wondering my mom's and by this point, I also have, like dirt and stuff on top of it. I've got weeds growing through it, so there's no easy way for me to pull this stuff back up because it's coming apart in shreds in my hands. I think I'm still pulling black plastic out of those Florida. It's and we've been here 12 years.
Thank you so much less so promising for what I'm getting ready to, because we're pulling all that mold child, and then we have to pull out the plastic and the weeds, and then I'm gonna put
strawberries that they're such a pain in the butt. Honestly, I've I've let it all go, and I really need to tackle this beds because I tried turning part of it into, like, a pollinator garden. And I planted this one player that what's all these really cute little yellow flowers and the bees love, But it's just it's completely invasive, and it's like choking out everything else. And I don't know how to control it now that I have it. But these like it. And then, of course, I've got my dogs keep running underneath my front porch. So I've pretty much given up on trying to grow anything in front of the front porch because it's just become there through there. But it doesn't have
to be fancy. Whatever your set up is, you know, whatever. Whatever room you have our space you have inside outside in your garage, in your basement, um, you know, wherever works, we have mice in her garage, unfortunately, so I can't put my seedlings out there, or I definitely would. Yeah, but I would say would probably eat them.
Yeah, and if you do want to get trays now, it is kind of a greenhouse supply place, so they do kind of lean more towards selling in quantity, but they do also sell smaller quantities. I get a lot of stuff from Greenhouse Megastore. I'm not aware of an affiliate program that they have, probably because they probably don't have one, because their prices in Sochi. Um, but, you know, if you want to get, like, the 10 40 trays in the actual, um, like seed starting trays, especially if you're thinking about starting extra, see links and selling your extra, Um, and this could be a conversation for another time because you do need to actually talk to your state AG department. Find out if you need a license to do it. Usually not a very expensive license. But, you know, local sands gotta get their piece. Um, and and so you know, if you're looking at reselling or just, you know, wanting to make your life easier, check out greenhouse megastore
dot com and we'll link all of this. Of course, in the show notes all the different seed companies and any posts that we have that are relevant to what we've been talking about and a spray bottle I think is beneficial. I know I mentioned earlier. If you're starting inside, you could just kind of squirt the top of your soil instead of trying to douse it with a watering can.
Yeah, and I'll put up a link for, um, those half gallon pressure sprayers. I really like those because they saved my hands because I've been deal with tendinitis. Um, since it's under pressure, you don't have to keep squeezing the bottle. You just hold and actually even has a lock on it, so I don't want to hold it, but you just It'll just continuously spray until you release it. It's It's awesome.
He's also, but it's it's full of vinegar.
Well, I s o I have multiple pressure spray bottles I have. Well, the one that I use for vinegar is actually like a commercial grade chemical sprayer because the the vinegar breaks on the plastic. But I use these half gallon sprayers for a lot of like my bt spray, my copper spray, my name oil. Yeah, everything. I have like a separate one for each one so that I'm not mixing and all
right. And you don't need fertilizer for your plant. Your seedlings, you will have to figure out. You know, some some seedlings, once you transplant them will need some kind of fertilizer in order to thrive better. There are organic fertilizers available. Yes,
and I like that. The organic for leisure that Mary's heirloom cells on her website.
I heard that one up.
The only downside it it does have fishmeal in it. And my cat did kind of beat the bag of fertilizer. Oh, I also don't Well, I mean, they didn't eat single bag, but he mind most fertilizers are high in salt. So really not a good idea. Like believe it with your pet could get ahold because it smells like dead
fish. Another reason not to fertilize your ceilings is because a lot of them have fishmeal. And it does smell really bad.
Yeah, but yeah, I don't I don't fertilize any of my stuff until it's about a month old. And then I kind of have a continuous fertilized once a month schedule. It's just I just find that my plants produce a lot better if I keep instead. And this is in addition you know, I still use composts, and I still have, you know, my rabbit manure and all that kind stuff. It's just I want to make sure they have everything they need
And most of your ceilings, some herbs you're just gonna set on top of your soil. You actually don't even cover them with soil. It depends on the plant. And then almost everything that you're going to start inside is gonna You're just gonna put like a light layer of seed starter on top of it. But your seed packets should contain enough information for you to know how deep you need to put your seeds.
Yeah, And I will say, Make sure you could you pay attention to that seat depth because I ran into a problem where I did not plant my tomato seeds deep enough. And so there wasn't enough soil over the seed once it germinated for the roots to really grab on. Um, so I lost a lot of seedlings that way, but then also like peas. Um, you would think because of PC, it is so big that you could planted a little bit deeper, but seeds do not have very much energy in, though, are the peas do not? And so you really only want lightly cover them because if there's too much soil on top of that seat, it's gonna quit before ever breaks the soil,
and you have to think about you don't want to put a seedling too deep in the soil or it'll never germinate depend, right? Kind of like what you said with the peas. Yeah, put stuff in way too deep. Like if you shove it all the way down to the bottom of your seed pod than you're probably never going to see a plan because it's not gonna be able to break the soil surface.
Yeah. I mean, as a general rule for most things, Um, because all like, I'll use my index finger is that first knuckle is usually deep enough for most seats. Most of
them are, I think, 1/4 of an inch almost just about everything that I can think of that you store inside unless, like I said, some herbs, you don't even
yeah, you barely even cover them. Um, let us they need that. I don't think I ever lies. Yeah, you need. I mean, the light not you, but right. But then I want to say green beans and corn might even be 1/2 inch. I think they go a little bit deeper. You start your horn inside. No, I'm a dry rex. So record, but okay. Okay. I know I owe my I'm totally backwards everybody else because I'm planting right now, and yeah, well, im just you're
talking about corn, and I'm thinking, but I'm not gonna put
corn in a C pod. Well, yeah, I know on. And that's the other
thing. Some plants, you know, you're gonna direct so outside. And most of what we're talking about is what you're gonna start inside. But, um, your outdoor stuff, some of it does go deeper and a lot of stuff that you should direct so will not transplant. Well, it'll like corn, for instance. I actually do start my peas indoors, but a lot of people don't, but
yeah, I've done. I've done both. My piece have done well doing both. Um, this year I did direct. So and, um, I definitely should have given the bigger trellised, but, uh, when they when the cpac it says mammoth, um, sugar snap peas, and they mean it. So they actually get pretty big. Yeah. Learn from my mistakes, folks. All right, I'll obviously don't do anything indoors, But I have I have I have done corn, like in pods before. The biggest. The biggest thing I've noticed with the corn. Is it one of the first things it does, It's puts down a deep tap root. And when you're not direct, sowing that corn at that taproot can't go anywhere. And so you're plant overall, just doesn't end up having the foundation. It needs to really do well, so you weigh direct. So the corn this time and you can
look on your seed packet. Most of them will say, you know, like star indoors for six weeks before your last expected frost or direct so and it will give you, you know, a window of time to direct. So, like corn, for instance, usually after your last frost and some things you know, as soon as the soil is workable, um, you're gonna be put him in the ground. If your direct sowing, like peas, for instance, they can actually withstand a lot more cold than people give him credit for. And radishes and beets and things that you know, kind of stay rooted in the ground that you're gonna eat the roots from. A lot of those things could be planted a lot earlier in the season than some other things. I mentioned another saying that I keep a calendar and I kind of keep track of what I'm starting And when I'm starting in or when I should start it so that I have an idea because not everything is gonna get started at the same time. Number one, you get incredibly overwhelmed. And number two, some things need longer to not only germinate but to get established that they could be transplanted outside. Or they have a longer duration of time that they need before they're mature enough for you to harvest. Yeah,
because I know right now you know a lot of stuff, especially you're talking about, like squashes and melons and things like that. There's actually germinate really quickly and grow really quickly social once you get them outside. So I wouldn't even be Clinton and indoors yet. But your stuff like you're, um, tomatoes and eggplants and peppers. I mean, they need to be started. What is it, like 8 to 12 weeks before you transplant them? A a
6 to 8 peppers, I think is like 8 to 10.
Yeah, peppers take longer. Um, right. And if eggplants take a while to get established to?
Yeah, my eggplants. I I just started my papers. I do my eggplants and my tomatoes the week after. So we're right around the seven week mark is when I usually do mine.
Yeah. So those you want toe now, of course, down here. I'm like, we don't go based off the frost dates, but most of our stuff is not going to produce in the summer. Tomatoes, for the most part, are not gonna produce past mid May. You might be able to get into June, maybe depending on what the weather decides to dio headed, regulating ours outside. I know, I know. So it's really starting to heat up mid may. And then, of course, by June it hits that point where nighttime temperatures are above 75 day times above 94 the plants stop pollinating and stop producing flowers. Uh, you can get a longer growing season out of cherry tomatoes if you're able to get Everglade tomatoes, which is a Florida native. Then those will produce through the summer. But those are like little cherry tomatoes. But great if you want to, you know, snack on. Whatever. Um, but for our baked tomatoes, we need to plan to be done with them by the first of June. So we need to have them started in January so we can have them outside in March so that we maybe get a couple months of production out of them before they all die on us again.
Right? And that goes back to looking at your cpac it, right? Yes.
So that's where that, um, the maturity date, you know, like if it says 90 days to maturity, that's where that's really important, cause you got a short season like that, you want to make sure that it's mature. So, like, springtime is a good time for us to focus on determinate varieties because those were gonna grow faster and produce sooner and then for their done. If we want to grow heirlooms and in determinants, it's really better for us to start those in full. And actually, we start those in August so we can plant them in the fall so that that way we can have a longer growing season out of them cause Longjing came from freezing. Then they can continue to produce for you in today. But not that you're gonna have a hard time getting that toe happen. If you're starting them now
and then your pumpkin and stuff like up here and five b. I won't start mine until just a couple weeks before, because number when they get massive fairly quick,
right? Oh, yeah, they started finding. They just take over.
Yeah, and you don't want that mess. I I started inside, but the only grow in here for a couple of weeks. And then once you get everything going, it's time to start transplanting some of that stuff out. You know, take notes of when you need to transplant things and try to keep an eye on what the weather is doing. Because, like your peppers, for instance, this because your last frost eight says it's May 5th doesn't mean that that will be your last prostate. The weather, you know, it's it's just a guideline has a mind of its own, So I
know folks in Ohio that really don't like to play anything in their gardens until Memorial Day weekend. Yeah, because may want to be. So is he?
Yeah, a lot of it. You know, I try to keep an eye on the weather and see what it's doing and what our soil temperatures were doing. I mean, you know, you can take it to barometer and measure how hot your soil. Tempus. That's true. And And if my soil chimp is starting to get to the point where it's gonna be warmer than I don't worry so much about it because you could cover the plants that if it happens to dip too cold for them. Um, we put pepper plants out really early. A few years ago, the year my mom passed away and it got so cold. Ah, and they actually lived in, produced it well, and I didn't even cover them because I was dealing with the death of my mother. And, you know, I couldn't have cared less about that garden at that. Uh, we had plenty of peppers that year. I was amazed how well they produced because we put him out way to early
way. Have we have a tie pepper plant growing over by our well, and I still honestly do not know how it ended up over there. Um and I mean it is 4.5 feet tall, covered in cuppers. I never cover it. I never fertilize it. I never water it. It's a it's kind of looking like it maybe could use MEPs insult, and I probably should take the peppers off of it. Um, but it's I mean, it's produced better than any of my peppers and great it down here because we rarely get a hard freeze. We'll get two or three years of pepper plant, but I'm like, you know, I mean, honestly, When I first saw it, I thought it was a high biscuits that ended up over there. And then I walk by and, like, those aren't flowers of the peppers like that happen. And then, if you're starting your seeds inside, then
about I say 7 to 10 days before you're gonna try to transplant them out, you need to start hardening them off. And what that means is just taking your ceiling, your trade or whatever it is that you've got him in and taking it outside and for the first day you're gonna put them in direct sunlight and you're just gonna leave mother for an hour and then you're gonna stretch to two hours and three hours until you get to the point where you can put them out in full sun and leave them out the entire day. And then the following day, you're gonna go ahead and put him in your garden,
right? Because, yeah, what tends to happen is folks will bring them outside and O it's a full sun plant. So they they planted in full sun the first day, and the next day it's dead. Yes, you got it went into shock. It got sunburn. It, you know, it just they have to be brought out into that gradually.
Yes, because your plants are used to this really controlled environment where you're growing them, whether it's in your garage or your house or wherever, and then suddenly they're out in the big wide world, and the sun out in the big wide world is completely different than your grow lamp, and the wind is completely different than the fan that you might have had blowing on it. So you have, and soil temperature is different, and it's gonna fluctuate, whereas they've had the same cozy soil temperature the entire time because they've been inside your 70 degree house. So you definitely have to gradually get them used to the outside world because it's a lot different controlled environment that you're growing them in. So, to recap, it's not difficult to start seats inside or outside. And, um, you have a larger variety and you have more room for mistakes. And I think it's something that everybody should try whether you start really small and only try to start a couple of tomato seeds or you go all out and try to start your entire garden open seat. And if you fail, there's nothing wrong with either one starting over because you probably have enough time or be going to the garden centre and picking up some plants to put in the ground. You don't need a lot of supplies. You don't have to go all out by a bunch of expensive stuff to do it, and it can be fun and rewarding, and especially if you have kids at home, it can be a really need experience. Toe watch those plants grow from seed. So I think that's it for this episode.
Yes, and you can find all of the links that we mentioned in the show notes, and you can also find this episode at beyond the home said dot com Episode six.