Seed-Starting Basics

Seed-starting season is in full swing in these parts. I’ve been getting loads of questions about it via email and figured it was time to put together a seed-starting recap here on the site.

I started my own tomato, pepper, and tomatillo seeds this weekend and put in orders with two seed companies to complete my 2007 Scary Mega Plant List.


Lee Valley Windowsill Seed Starter

Last spring the world aligned in such a way leading to what I can only describe as a collapse in judgement wherein I purchased an actual device to start my seeds in. Firstly, I am a gluttonous gardener and had compiled a frightening collection of seeds to grow, and then Lee Valley had the gall

Your Questions Answered: Tall and Floppy Seedlings

Question: I bought an all-in-one seed starting kit that is supposed to make the procedure a breeze. I’m new to this so I tried growing stuff like marigolds, pansies, and herbs but everything died! The seedlings grew tall and floppy with a couple of sad looking leaves.

The Eggling Experience: Update 1

Germination has taken place in both the Eggling and the Real Egg. The Real Egg showed a few sprouts about 6 hours before the Eggling. Sorry about the lack of photo to accompany this update however both seedlings are microscopic in size and I don’t have a macro lens. I’m glad I saved a few


Eggling versus Real Egg: Fight

While setting up my “Eggling Experience” I thought it would fall more into the spirit of the much loved but long forgotten “The Lab” section of this site if I were to make this into an Eggling versus Real Egg experiment. I made the claim in my introductory post that an Eggling could be closely


The Eggling Experiment

I know that this cute little product has made the rounds in the design and gardening world so I know I’m probably not showing you anything new. I have been resisting the charm of the Eggling since I first heard of them because I generally do not support this kind of product no matter how

Getting My Seeds Started, Right

This year will go down in history as the year I not only started seeds on time, organized all seeds by category (direct sow, indoor starts, and never-going-to-grow-it-so-trade-it-already), AND managed to draw up some kind of “plan” beyond casual (and quickly forgetten) mental lists. I rule. For now. We’ll see what happens when transplant buying


The Lazy Gardener’s Automatic Seed Starting Chart

Calculate seed sowing and planting dates in seconds with Maggie Wang’s easy-to-calculate version of my original Printable Seed Starting Chart. You’ll never wonder when to start your seeds again! Download the seed starting chart file. If you don’t have excel, you can download a free open-source office suite with a spreadsheet application at or

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

My seeds have arrived. Some are just in time for planting and some are kind-of late but manageable. Just to be clear I have done a first batch of seeds. This is a second, last-minute batch. They are all heirloom varieties purchased from Seed Savers. I’m very excited! I’ve already opened every packet and inspected

Seed Starting – Germination

Guest post by Beate Schwirtlich What Happens When A Seed Germinates? The whole purpose of starting seeds indoors is to cheat winter a little. Ironically, even as we cheat nature, we must imitate her. Light, soil, water, air, and a basic understanding of the process of germination are all you need. Once you know the

Handful of Peas

Ensure Your Bounty of Peas

Guest post by Arzeena Hamir No matter what zone you live in, garden peas are one of the first crops that can be planted outdoors. Even though the weather may be mild at this time of the year in your zone, the soil is still quite cold which often results in poor germination. In addition,

Seed Starting – Damping Off

Guest post by Beate Schwirtlich Seed Rot or ‘Damping Off’… What is damping off? This gentle term describes the death of seedlings by fungal disease, either before or after they emerge from the pod. This sudden plant death can happen for up to four weeks after seeds are started. It actually describers a few different

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