Last year, hubby and I decided to try our hand at starting our own seedlings. Hubby built a seedling shelf from PVC pipe, hung lights and we were ready to grow something.
We carefully planted all our seeds, placed them under the lights, watered them and waited. Watered them some more and waited. Watered them some more and waited. Eventually, about half of the seeds we planted began to emerge from their earthy cocoon in the form of little green seedlings. I continued to water and watch as they grew a little taller each day, with hope that other seedlings would begin to grow. Sadly, no more seedlings and even sadder still, all but one of the little seedlings began to fall and die. When it came time to plant, only one small tomato plant had survived.
It was seedling failure to survive and I chalked it up to being in the basement with not enough warmth and not enough water for the conditions. Next year I would do things differently.
And I have done things differently this year. Hubby helped me move the seedling shelves to the dining room and they have been placed by our south-facing sliding glass door. I started them earlier, so if there was a need to start over, there would be time. I have heat mats under them, providing them warmth. I check on them a few times a day making sure the soil is moist and not dried out. Each morning the lights are turned on and turned off again each night.
As a result, almost all of the seedlings have emerged, most looking strong and sturdy. A few have fallen over and died, but so far I’ve had a much more successful year than last.
It’s still early. I’ve replanted some seeds that didn’t sprout, which has proven to be more successful. Some I’m still having trouble getting started, but there is time to keep trying before moving them outdoors and eventually into the garden.
If all continue to grow and flourish, we’ll have a lot more than we have room to plant, but that’s okay. I’m just happy to see my little green friends doing so well and am keeping fingers crossed that all will soon be growing and producing fine vegetables in my garden this year.