Sprouting A Green Thumb

Cabbage and Cauliflower Sprouts Under A Grow Lamp 18 hours on and 6 hours off per day, First To Appear 4 Days After Starting Seeds

As a result of limited essential supplies and escalating grocery prices the last year, Beth and I are attempting to be more self sufficient. Starting a garden is one of those attempts.

Many of the foods that we purchase and consume bear the organic label. But I’m always skeptical that the foods in the package are actually organic. Growing your own under conditions that you want is one way to assure that no unwanted ingredients are in the foods you eat.

Neither of us claim to have a green thumb. Admittedly we’ve killed off more plants than we’ve managed to sustain. But heck, if someone on YouTube can do it, why can’t we?

Actually, there are many people on YouTube that make it look pretty darned easy. After watching several different gardening experts and many episodes of said experts we chose the plants we wanted to grow and the methods that we wish to grow them.

We have chosen to start as many foods as possible from seeds.

Side note for my gardening friends: Advice please. I want to grow potatoes, but need to research how that is done. Potato seeds are not a thing. My dad used to grow potatoes, and he started with an actual potato that he cut up into sections and planted in hills.

Here is the plan from 100 feet. Grow as much as possible inside from seed in planter trays and transplant outside into raised garden beds after the last frost is predicted around Mother’s Day.

We’ve already started several varieties of pepper, plus cauliflower, cabbage and rosemary herb inside. The sprouts pictured are cauliflower and cabbage which sprouted in about 4 days. The peppers should sprout in 7 to 21 days, Sweet peppers first, then hot peppers late.

This weekend we will start tomatoes in planters from seed. All other seeds will be planted directly into the raised garden after Mother’s Day.

This blog post will focus on the method that we used to start from seed indoors.

Every YouTube expert warned that starting from seeds is not easy, but we are not letting fear of failure stop us from trying. After watching several different experts the following method seemed to make the most sense. We think this method will give beginners like us the best chance to be successful.

The kit pictured below comes with a bottom tray for water, a platform to prop up the trays, a capillary pad for indirect and continual watering, a flat of planting trays, and a dome.

Bottom water tray.
Prop to hold planter trays above the water below.
Capillary pad to wick water from the lower tray to the holes in the bottom of the seed trays.
Seed trays and dome. In these trays are several varieties of pepper that have yet to sprout.

There should be about 1/2″ of water in the bottom tray at all times, the platform is placed spike side down, the capillary pad is folded, with the edges in the water (this allows the water to leach up from the base and water the plants from the bottom up which encourages the roots to extend down and become very healthy.) The seed planting tray is set on top of the capillary pad and the dome is placed on top of everything keeping a nice humid environment for our sprouts to grow in.

The seed starter kit fully assembled with a variety of pepper seeds.

The cover picture shows a grow light. This light should be placed as close to the tray as possible and be lit for 18 hours and off for 6 hours per day. Plants need that much sunlight to be healthy. Regular household lighting is not bright enough and sunlight through a window is not sufficient either. Invest in a good grow light.


Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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