Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting Under Way

The seed sowing is really getting started now.  Today I started several lettuces, herbs, flowers and even winter sowed!  My seed room (also known as my sewing/craft room is getting inundated.  Luckily, here in zone 6/7, we're not far out from planting the cool season veggies.  Here in Salem County, NJ, we're on the edge of Zones 6 and 7, I'm never sure which one to choose.  Usually I go with the conservative estimate: 6.  That way, I don't have to worry about late frosts and colder than usual temperatures.  That puts us at early March for cool season veggies.

For today, I started "Prizeleaf", "Royal Oak", "Salad Bowl" and "Ashley" lettuces, Marjoram, Thai basil and Genovese basil, Snapdragons, and Echinacea.

Winter sowing is new to me, it's basically sowing hardy seeds in a mini-greenhouse, then putting it outside in a sunny location.  I chose Echinacea for my first winter sowing project.  Nothing fancy, just good 'ole Purple Echinacea.  I figure I can ease into the idea, then expand.  I chose empty milk jugs as my "mini greenhouses".  With two kids in the house, we go through quite a bit of milk.  I love the idea of re-using them.  I put my jugs full of seeds on the south facing side of the porch.  They'll get a lot of sun there.

In other sowing news, the celery continues to do well.  Tomorrow I'm going to transfer them to larger pots.

And, what's that?  A pepper seedling from last Saturday's sowing?  Hurrah!

For more seed sowing fun, check out Seed Sowing Saturday  with Dave at The Home Garden!


  1. I am so envious of seed starting room! My seeds share the bathroom with my husband's remodeling tools ~ one day!

    I have a question. I'm zone 7 and totally new to starting veggies and herbs. I am a little nervous. Is now the time to start any basil? I have some spicy bush basil seeds that have a 12-18 day germination.

  2. Very impressive, Shannon. I hope your little seedlings do well. We have so many snails and slugs here that I found it hard to protect the seedlings after they are planted out. Good luck with yours!

  3. Morning Shannon. A fellow gardener gave me two plants each of Thai and Lemon Basil last year. Had never tried either before, thinking them just gimmicks of Italian Basil. Not!! I love the earthy flavor of the Thai Basil. Am hoping they will self seed this year anywhere near as prolifically as the Purple Basil. Our snow is gone!!

  4. sarah- Basil does really well in pots. If you're worried about late frosts, you could always keep it in a pot, that way you can bring it inside if the weather gets too cold.

    Masha- My chickens and duck love slugs! They keep the population in check for me. Before I had them I always had trouble with slugs in the lettuce, though. I've heard setting out plates of beer helps. I guess slugs don't hold their liquor well! *L*

    George- I love Thai basil! It's great on seafood and in stir frys. It produces pretty flowers, too. I haven't tried the lemon basil, maybe I'll add that to the garden this year!

  5. I like your seed starting process and your mini greenhouses. I so wish to have the room to plant seeds, but my tiny city plot is not the place. I always start Impomoea. Going up is my only alternative. I do have access to greenhouses for my seed starting at the farm though.

  6. It's hard to find places for all the seeds, isn't it? I use a spare bedroom, when I don't have guests. I'd like to get a greenhouse - maybe some day. How about you? By the way, I think Masha awarded you the Stylish Bloggers Award (congratulation), but I felt you also deserved it so I awarded it to you, too.

  7. It warmed up here so fast this year (and a bit early) I didn't even both this year with the seed sowing... and I'll probably regret it. Last year I had a ball doing it!

  8. I've tried the Thai basil before and it has a nice flavor but I think I prefer the regular Italian in my pesto. Sure looks like you have a great start with those winter sowing containers! You should have a good variety of lettuce too.

  9. I love your milk jug idea, I have trouble finding sunny spots around my house but you are doing great!

    The best place for me in my daughter's bedroom, I have not quite convinced her that she would really love sleeping in a quasi greenhouse.

  10. I'm so excited to see another winter sowing newbie!! Good for you for being brave enough to try it out. I hope you'll end up loving it as much as I do!! I'll be winter sowing like crazy over the next few months.



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