Seeding the growing season
As a monument to optimism, hope and change of seasons, we have installed a grow-light in the kitchen window. That meant seed-starting, and so I did: two pots of mesclun and one of radishes, plus an experiment that worked in the past (and has worked again) - sticking a basil plant with rootball still attached into a spare pot filled with garden dirt.
The radishes are looking a little leggy and the lettuce needs thinning, but other than that, success.
My grow-light is fancy, but there's no need. A no-frills fluorescent fixture propped up on upended flower pots or bricks (or cookbooks) works fine. Keys to seed-starting are strong light, cozy temperatures and even moisture. Old milk cartons, washed and dried, with a side cut out, have worked as seed-starting flats, and a bit of dirt scraped up from the back yard will work almost as well as seed-starting medium (bought at any big-box store).
As for seeds, there are abundant sources, but these are my current favorites: Fedco Seeds, Kitazawa Seed Company, Edible Landscaping, Seed Savers Exchange, The Cook's Garden, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Renee's Garden Seeds.
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