Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting from Seed . 1 | Garden Gates

The seed catalogs, like late presents packed with promises, begin arriving soon after Christmas then, as winter finally surrenders to spring, the garden season gets under way. One of the gardener's many pleasant seasonal rituals, the first of the new year, is indoor seed starting.

Some seeds are started indoors for later transplanting out into the garden as seedlings or young plants. This technique allows the cultivation of the boys of summer, the warm weather lovers - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc. - in the northerly latitudes. It's also useful for getting a jump on the growing season with many of the plants that prefer cooler temperatures - lettuces, kale and mustard for example. Some plants can be treated either way, others dislike transplanting and must be direct seeded or sown directly into the outdoor garden beds they will grow in. Spinach, peas, beets and beans are among these finicky vegetables.

Image ... Jimmy with Tomatoes. By Lois Johnson. They look like Mortgage Lifters for sure. Fenway Victory Gardens, Boston.

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