In the garden: February

It’s fun to go to a garden center in spring to pick out baby plants to transplant into your garden. If you are looking for unusual or particular varieties of plants to grow in your garden, you might enjoy starting your own seeds instead. It’s a little more fuss than buying seedlings and takes a little space, but seed starting is a great option if you are looking to start your gardening fun while it’s still winter!

It’s a bit soon to start seeds in the upper Midwest because the plants won’t be able to get in the ground until the middle or end of May in most cases. I have a new LED grow light set-up so I started some arugula and salad mix a couple weeks ago; they will be ready to harvest and eat before I need to start seeds for the plants that will go outside.

My set-up has trays with a rack in them, wicking pads on top the rack, and then the trays with the seeds. Water goes in the section with the racks and the wicking pad moves water up to the base of the seedling tray. It’s great because I don’t need to water them daily (even though I admire and sweet-talk them almost daily!). I bought this set-up with the LED lights but a DIY version would be a fun project. Seeds like warm feet so a warm room or plant heating pad really help, as does a good light source. Sadly window light in most houses isn’t enough for starting seeds.

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