Last year I decided that I would start most of my garden from seed this planting season. First, there is so much more variety in buying seeds compared to the seedlings from the local stores. Don’t get me wrong, I have been super happy with our local purchases, but I wanted to try some more heirloom varieties. Second, it is much cheaper. Well, in this case, so far, my seeds have been free because they were given to me by many lovely people for my 40th birthday. See, I can type that now (40th birthday) and not sigh mournfully. Most of the time.

Anyway! I will still be purchasing potato sets because they were so delicious when we grew them last year. If I have space, that is, because one packet of seeds becomes quite a few seedlings. Even the rarer heirloom seeds, which only are about 25 seeds per packet, become about 8-12 seedlings, since you are supposed to do 2-3 seeds per slot.

As part of my birthday haul, I got a gift card with which I purchased a peat pellet starter tray. I knew it wouldn’t be enough for all the seeds I have that I needed to be started indoors, but I had also saved a couple of smaller trays last year and we had a few disposable containers. People start seedlings in cut-off plastic bottles or milk jugs, etc. so honestly, you don’t even need to get a starter tray like I did. I by no means pretend to be an expert at this, this is my first time starting most of my plants from seed and hopefully what I do will work, and I’ll share my triumphs and failures with you.

These are the seeds I needed to start indoors – a few tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, onion, and bell peppers.

If you have a starter tray, then you need to soak the pellets.

They will expand and then you can add the seeds.

This whole tray was taken up by my tomato seeds. I took pics so I’d remember what was in each tray because I didn’t have labels ready 😀 The envelope straight up means one row, on its side means two rows, so this tray has 1 row of Super Sweet 100, 2 rows of Principe Borghese, 1 row of Black Krim, and 2 rows of Pink Brandywine.

Hopefully we will have lots of onion this year!

The rest of the onion seeds, peppers and eggplant

Broccoli

In a few weeks they should be ready to transplant, knock on wood. I have LOTS more seed packets, but they are to be started outdoors once the danger of frost is past. Around here, that means late February. However, we are going to be super busy so I have a feeling those babies will be planted in early March.