It’s that time of year, and I usually miss it…but not this year!

February is the month to plant the seeds, that will grow into transplants, that will go into our family vegetable garden.  It’s so much more cost effective to do it this way but February usually sneaks up on me and before I know it, it’s March and too late to start my seeds.

I hadn’t ordered my seeds yet this year when I went to the Georgia Organics Conference.  Lucky for me, there were vendors selling seeds – organic seeds!

I’ve used organic seeds before and had a very productive yield so I was excited to try them again.  They are a little bit more expensive but I figure a better yield will certainly make up the difference.

I tried two different companies and will keep note about the quality of the plants from each.

I’ve also purchased seeds from Henry’s and  Le Jardin du Gourmet Seed.  Johnny’s has also been highly recommended by the gentleman who runs the organic farm at UGA and by another friend who is a Horticulturalist at UGA.  I’m going to buy some seeds from them this year too.  I’ve listed the companies and their websites at the bottom of this blog.

I’ve seen and tried all different types of ways to start seedlings….I got adventurous this year.

On Monday, I said to my youngest, “Come on!  I have a fun science project for us to do!”  (She loves science)

She was all excited, “What are we doin’ Mom?”

“We’re going to plant seeds this morning!”

Her excitement was quickly deflated.  “Mom, that’s not science.  I was really hoping we were going to blow something up.”

Ahh, the problem of familiarity.  Planting seeds is a common occurrence around here and couldn’t possibly be associated with science.

I pulled out my diplomatic teacher reasoning…

“Oh well, you’re going to help me anyway.”   🙂

Together we planted all kinds of seeds in 3 different containers.

The first was the more traditional way – I used the pop-up peat pot.  Now Squish did get a kick out of watching them “grow” when she put warm water on them.

We also planted in cardboard egg cartons…

We filled each of the egg holes with compost.  As soon as the seedling gets big enough, I’ll cut apart each compartment, tear out the bottom and then plant it in a bigger container to let the plant grow larger.

I also tried planting some of the seeds in eggshells…

We then put the eggshell into the egg carton…

My hope is that the shell will make it easier to transfer the seedling to a larger container.  Again, I’ll poke out the bottom of the shell before putting it in another pot.

I made sure that I marked the type of seeds I had put in and the date they were sown.

I’m certainly not done planting yet and I have some other ideas for starting seeds – I’ll keep you posted!

There are certain seeds which do better sown directly into the soil outside – lettuce is one of them.

Some others are radishes, snap peas, cucumbers, and beans.  Now, I didn’t say they couldn’t be grown as transplants, I’ve just found these do better if I direct sow outside.

Okay – here are the names of the seed companies I’ve used or am using:

Henry Field’s –

Le Jardin du Gourmet Seed Catalog –  (I love this catalog for their huge selection of herbs and their sample seed packets for 35 cents)

High Mowing Organic Seeds –  (first year I’m trying their seeds)

Johnny’s –  (this company came highly recommended by reputable sources)

Gardens Alive! –  (I’ve used this company forever, not for seeds but for sprays and soil amendments)

If you have any more questions, post them on our Facebook page

…and I’ll answer them as best I can in a blog.

Happy homesteading!!