When it’s cold outside, get your greens growing inside………
February is the month to start your seeds indoors! You can get a 1-2 month jump by starting seeds inside. It’a easy and can be done in your kitchen and it is a budget friendly option that allows you to grow many varieties not available at your big box store. Besides, it’s nice to have green things growing again!
We have some amazing local garden shops in Asheville like Sow True Seeds, Fifth Season Garden Supply and LOTUS that already have seeds in. Planting native and non-GMO are a great way to go!
Jan/beginning of Feb in our Zone 6 garden- plant outdoors in 10-12 weeks (*Truth be told, the ONLY time I’ve been successful with organic brassicas (like broccoli and cauliflower) has been when starting them indoors and planting early)
• Artichokes • Broccoli • Cabbage
• Celery • Endive • Escarole
• Kale • Mache
Mid-February in our Zone 6 garden- plant in 8-10 weeks
• Chamomile • Chives • Eggplant
• Lavender • Rosemary & Tyme
• Leeks • Lovage • Parsley
• Peppers • Tomatoes
Farmer Franny’s Tips & Tricks:
Use sterile seed starting mix, pots and containers.You can make your own seed starting mix with peat moss, compost, and vermiculite. Just be sure to heat the compost to at least 150 degrees to kill any pathogens before using to start seeds.
Place the seeds in the starter mix in the pots and wet thoroughly from the bottom (watering from the top can dislodge seeds).Water from the bottom wicks the moisture up under the seedlings. I put my seed starts in a plastic tray with a clear plastic lid in a sunny window. Keep moist, but not wet, and with the clear cover on until seedling emerges. Once seedling emerges, remove the clear lid.
Make sure you label your seedlings as soon as you plant them; you may think you will remember 2 months from now, but likely not.
Now is also a great time to start keeping a journal- tracking what you planted, what worked well , what didn’t work so well
Your seedling’s first leaves are not “true” leaves; think of them as baby teeth. The second sets of leaves are their true leaves. They are ready to be hardened off when they have their first set of true leaves.
Seedlings must be hardened and not just thrown outside. You take them out a little at a time, gradually increasing their exposure to sun and cold, only during the daytime. I try and plant when there is a warm spell forecasted to minimize the shock.
Have Fun! No worries! There are plenty of stores to use as a back up if your first seed starting adventure goes a little awry………..
To Grow Something, Is to Have Faith in the Future