It didn't take long to unearth my copy of Grow Great Grub from the basement and run upstairs to swipe The Backyard Homestead (a Christmas present from my mother-in-law) from the bedside table. And a quick search on the revered Old Farmer's Almanac website told me that now was a fine time to start seeds indoors. For growing containers, I harvested plastic and watertight paper cartons from our recycling bin outside, washed them in hot soapy water, cut them down to size, and poked holes in the bottoms for drainage. It was a motley crew, not quite as elegant as last year's seed sprouting set-up, but how could I argue with free?
Out of the nine types of seeds I had, only five recommended indoor sprouting: basil, kale, romaine, cherry tomato, and Cherokee purple tomato. The rest will be sown directly in their respective containers in mid to late spring, which seems like ages from now....sigh...
I retrieved my garden gloves and trowel from the basement, plopped the bag of seed starting mix on the kitchen counter, and set my prepared containers in a plastic tray (the lid of a big Tupperware storage box, to be exact) nearby. Then I filled each container to the top with seed starter mix, labelled the containers so I'll know which seedlings are which, and pressed in the seeds, one or two at a time, trying to space them at least an inch apart. When all the containers were filled and the seeds were planted, I used a spray bottle to water them all until water began to leak out from the drainage holes in the bottom of each container. [Please excuse the blurriness of this photo!]
It took a while to water them all thoroughly, but once that part was done, my mission was almost completed. I just needed to cover the whole thing in plastic to keep in the moisture and warmth and speed up the seed germination process. Luckily I had a clear-ish plastic bag that did the trick, fastened with a twistie tie.
And there you have it. Finito. The end result is not particularly pleasing to the eye, but I'm not worried. Once those first baby leaves shimmy up out of the dirt and begin to stretch up and up and up, it won't make any difference what they're growing in. Take that, winter. You may have held your ground outside today, but inside...well that's my territory. Let there be spring!