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Sunday, February 11, 2018

More is More: The Bat Shit Crazy School of Seed Starting

It must be said that I'm a passionate person and once I commit myself to a cause or hobby, I go all in. I'd get more sleep and have more money if these weren't defining characteristics, but they are so there ya go. To quote Popeye, "I yam what I yam!". 

It's not possible for me to just start a few packs of seeds. But turn my basement into a mini-greenhouse and start 55 different varieties? Yes, please! I open the seed catalogs or visit the websites and am seduced by the possibilities. So many flowers and so many options for just a few dollars. In the past I have methodically made my selections and drifted off to sleep designing my garden and filling all 100 of my containers. I allowed myself five or six purchases made on a whim but usually stuck to a plan. 

Many of these plants were grown from seed. Photo showing original Casa Mariposa garden.

Not this year. This year, I have no plan. I have no idea how much sun I have to work with although I doubt it will be much. I haven't arranged my containers or designed my new garden. There is too much work still to do. A retaining wall and terracing needs to built as well as two new brick paths in the front. The soil desperately needs to be amended, a new shady rain garden created, and shrubs added. But that didn't stop me from buying more seeds than I probably have grow light space for. It didn't slow me down at all. This year, I simply followed my heart and bought whatever seeds I damn well wanted to. Plants I don't have space or sunlight for will go to friends. A plant grown from seed and given as gift is a cup of love. Life could be worse.

Snapdragon seedlings 

I have 58 cups of seedlings but still have empty space under my grow lights for many more.

I grow my seedlings in big plastic drink cups that I've punched holes in the bottom with a hot screwdriver I've heated up on the stove. I cover the tops with a plastic sandwich baggie to act as a mini-greenhouse until the seeds start to germinate and then I remove it so I don't fry the seedlings.

I barely have any room between this set up and the nearby wall and have to squeeze through so I can do laundry. But I don't care because  I have plants growing in my basement in the middle of winter. To see what I'm growing this year, check out my So Seedy 2018 page. I went on a snapdragon bender when I was buying my seeds. Don't judge me. Alcohol may have been involved and I was left unsupervised.