Starting the Seeds for Your Veggie Garden
Veggie Gardening 101 Series
Part 2: Sow those seeds and wait!
Welcome to Part 2 of the Veggie Garden 101 Series – so glad you are sticking around! If you haven’t yet gone out and gotten your (very few) supplies, go do it! What are you waiting for? I am recommending just the Jiffy Greenhouse (or the like) and whatever seeds you want to grow. Choose you favourite vegetables, things you would be glad to have in abundance. I kid you not; one of my friends was getting laundry baskets full of zucchini from her garden, and that is a LOT of zucchini. This just makes sense! Grow what you are happy and excited to grow.
I am trying my hand at broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, beets and peppers to start, and beans and cucumber later. These foods are weekly staples at my house and are a regular part of my diet. Based on my research the first six need to be sowed in early-mid March. The remaining two can wait until April.
What I like about the Jiffy Greenhouse is that it is essentially all I need to get things started and it includes detailed instructions on what to do – thank god, because I want this to be easy!
Now let’s get started!
1. Expand the pellets – Just add water, about 5 ¼ cups for the whole tray. The pellets will take a minute or two to start expanding, and they really puff up! Add more water as needed. They should be about 1 ½ inches tall and dark brown.
2. Pull back the netting and lightly fluff the surface. I found the netting had already broken, so I didn’t need to do too much here (perhaps this means I added too much water). I used tweezers to fluff the peat a little bit, this was helpful since the pods are small and it gave me a more delicate touch.
3. Sow 2-3 seeds in each pod. Again, I used tweezers to help with this, which allowed me to create deeper holes. I tried to space each of the seedlings out like a triangle, not sure if this was right or not, but I did it! Gently fill in the holes.
4. Cover the tray with the lid, place by a window, but do not put in direct sunlight. Keep the lid on until the seeds start to sprout, then you will want to prop the lid open slightly – let some air in there!
4. And now you wait. Oh look, you are a gardener now!
This is feeling really easy right now, isn’t it? If the peat starts to turn light brown you may want to add some water, pouring into the tray and not directly on the pod. Just wait. I essentially did nothing to this for about 4 days until the seedlings started to appear.
I found myself peeking in mere hours after “why isn’t it growing yet?!” So don’t be like me, be patient! My first signs of seedlings came around day 4. After 6 days, I only added a little bit of water once. It is oddly exciting once you see that little bit of green push through – at this moment, I am feeling like this was definitely the best way to go!