The Seeds of Friendship

Planting the first seeds of the season is always fun.  This year my friends Dylan and Tyler helped my plant my first set of seedlings.  We purchased some new potting soil from a home center. I selected a potting soil that did not have any synthetic fertilizer in it, to be consistent in my organic philosophy and practices. Then we washed the seed four-packs with soap and water to clean off any viruses, bacteria, and fungi that have hanging around since last year.  After they dried we filled them with the new potting soil.

Soil Starting

To make sure I followed my garden plan I put a quick checklist together.  All three of us were working on seed packs so know what was done was important.

Seedling Checklist. Not Fancy, But It Kept Me On Track

Tyler and Dylan picked what seeds they wanted to plant. They could pick from tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers.

The Boys Selecting the Seeds They Wanted To Plant

Dylan helped me with seedlings last year, but a lot of this was new for Tyler.  So I gave Tyler the few instructions, and he was planting like a professional.

Tyler Was Especially Excited About Planting Tomatoes

The past two or three years I have been starting my plants from seed.  Each year I have had a plant or two that I mislabeled or lost the label.  It would be weeks before I knew what it was.  This year I cut up a yogurt cup to make labels.  These labels fit under the seed greenhouse so I will know all my plants this year.

The Yogurt Cup I Used to Make Labels

With everyone helping we completed the project quickly.  The boys helped me make sure the checklist was completed and each pack was labeled correctly.

Green-thumbs of Approval

We built a tower to get the seed greenhouse as close to the fluorescent light as possible.  The fluorescent light is on a timer and set to be on for at least 16 hours a day. If you are starting seeds under fluorescent light they need 16 hours.  If you are able to start them under sunlight you do not need more that what nature gives you.

The Seed Greenhouse. For Better Plant Growth the Greenhouse Should Be One or Two Inches Higher.

I set up a small heater under the seed greenhouse.  Most of the seeds I started need 70-ish degrees to germinate well.  After they establish their first leaves I will probably turn the heater off to save electricity.

The Seed Greenhouse On The Tower. The heater is on the bottom center

We made two packs for the boys.  They both selected tomatoes.  Hopefully they both grow, Dylan’s was a bit jumbled on the trip home.

Have you started seeds?  What have you started?  What will be your first set of seedlings?  Where do you start your seeds under lights or the sun?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.




6 thoughts on “The Seeds of Friendship

  1. How wonderful that these young men are learning how to grow their own food! I hope they get a great harvest. And kudos to you for helping them. I’m so far behind on starting my seeds, I’m embarrassed.

    1. Holley, they are a really fun to work with. They enjoy plants and food, so its a good combination. I start earlier than most people, for me everything seems to take longer so I need to start earlier.

  2. Yes! Very cool getting these kids involved in growing food. I love your “tower” to get the seeds closer to the light – I think I’ll be doing something similar (if I ever get the lights I need!)

    My favorite part is the labels made from cut-up yogurt cups. Spencer, this is brilliant and you’ve just provided an answer to my “how the heck am I going to label everything – inside AND out?” question. Thank you!!!

    1. Aimee, thank you. You made to 200th comment, and you are the big winner! I’ll have to figure out what you have won! They are great kids and they love working in the garden.

      My lights are just standard shop lights, nothing special. I can find these for about $8 in a local home center.

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