Starting Your Plants Indoors

If you are like me, you’re probably itching to get your hands dirty.  You can begin the garden season (even if you’re knee deep in snow); by starting your plants indoors and then transplanting them to the garden once the danger of frost has passed.

Common plants that you can start are tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.  If you are interested in cold-hardy vegetables, you can start plants such as onions and leeks.

If you are new to starting plants indoors, here’s a basic list to help you get going:

  • Plastic trays (or you can use recycled egg cartons or any type of cup you may have laying around the house)
  • Plastic Labels & Markers
  • Potting mix
  • Heirloom Seeds
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Watering Can

To make the process as easy as possible, determine how many plants you want to start of each variety.  Fill the allotted number of trays or pots that you want to start with soil.  Plant 2-3 seeds in each pot, ¼ to ½ inch deep.  Lightly cover up with soil, to a depth equal to three times their size.  Label each plant accordingly (do this immediately so you don’t get the plants mixed up).  Lightly mist the plants.  Cover with plastic wrap.

Set the plants in a warm area and check daily.  Continue to mist the plants, making sure the soil is damp.  When you see the seed start to sprout make sure you move to a spot with bright light.  You can use white fluorescent tubes for lighting.

Basic guidelines for the following:

Seed-Starting Mistakes Even Smart People Make

For the beginning gardener, seed-starting can seem so easy. Place a few seeds in a pot of dirt, water them, and watch them grow. Right?

If only it were that easy. As every gardener eventually discovers, seed-starting can be one of the most difficult parts of gardening.

Seed-starting is the subject of this week’s episode of Off The Grid Radio, as we examine common mistakes and look at a few tricks that can help your seeds sprout. Our guest is Craig LeHoullier, the author of two gardening books: Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales and Epic Tomatoes: How to Select And Grow The Best Varieties of All Time.

Craig tells us:

  • What type of soil to use.
  • How much light seeds really need.
  • What types of vegetables he starts early.
  • How to ensure you’re giving the seeds the right amount of water.

If you’re a gardener, then this week’s show is for you!


Delicious Lentil Soup Recipe

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Need Green Lentils?  We have them!  Click here!

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

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