Over the years, I’ve “gardened” in many ways. I’ve purchased bedding plants at the nursery and planted them in my garden. I’ve transplanted many plants – my own or from garden friends – in my garden beds. I’ve dug up plants and divided them – for my own garden or to give away. I’ve sown seeds in the ground. I’ve kinda . . . done it all.

With one exception:
I have never started my own seeds indoors!

It always sounded . . . so cumbersome, so tedious. All that light! And all that equipment! And I didn’t think I had the space for it. Or the patience. Besides, I don’t have a vegetable garden anymore.

But this year, I decided to give it a try . . . on a very limited basis. I paid special attention to my garden webinar series when they covered seed starting. (I am a member of Margaret Roach’s Way to Garden “virtual garden club” and subscribe to her series of garden webinars. The webinars cover a variety of topics – including seed starting – and are really well done.) And then I took a seed-starting “mini course” from Floret Flowers, which was a great course. It’s free, it doesn’t take much time to watch the 3 lessons, and it comes with a seed-starting guide you can download. (High praise for this course from me. And for Floret Flowers, in general. What a great resource for flower growers!) (If you’re interested in this course, hurry. It will be available only through mid-May.)

And then . . . I had to make a bit of an investment in some equipment. As you’ll learn – or already know – there are many, many options when it comes to seed-starting and seed-starting equipment. I knew that I would need some sort of light set-up because I just don’t have any place in my house where my seedlings can get a reliable 14-16 hours/day of natural daylight. I also knew that I needed something simple AND that wouldn’t take up a huge footprint in my house. I only wanted to start a few things: some basil, some cosmos, zinnias, and dahlias. I did angst a bit as I researched equipment . . . but ended up buying this set-up from Gardener’s Supply. (Yeah. It was pricey. But it was the perfect size to suit my space needs, and it came with everything I needed except a heat mat, which I ordered from Amazon.) (Actually, it came with a “wicking system” for watering, too — which I don’t need or want and won’t use, but there you go.) I ordered my seeds. (I was super picky about where I ordered my seeds from. I’ll spare you the details in this post, but would be glad to explain if you want to know more about that.)

And then . . . last Friday (after I’d gotten the go-ahead that my eye was good to be out in the sunlight), I planted my seeds. I followed the steps from the Floret Flowers course exactly. And here we are! Most of my seeds have sprouted, and they are now living comfortably under my new grow light. So far, so good. Although there are still, of course, MANY things that can go wrong.

I’ll keep you posted!


PS. Look at JoJo . . . so happy to be out in the garden for another season with me! At age 11, she mostly just wants to lay in the sunshine with her belly in the dirt. But she will occasionally find the energy to chase a bunny for a little while.


Have a great weekend. I hope your sky is clear on Monday so you have a chance to see the solar eclipse. I’m excited . . . because here in Kalamazoo – just out of the Path of Totality – we’re due to have a 96% eclipse. (Of course, maybe some clouds, though . . . ) Lucky Tom will be playing in a special curling Eclipse bonspiel in Fort Wayne, Indiana [EDITED: No. He is in Bowling Green, Ohio. Oops.] so he will have a chance to experience the full eclipse right in the Path of Totality! (I’m a bit jealous, but not enough to go with him.) (He did ask.)