It’s snowing here in Wisconsin as I write this blog post. Living in a northern climate can be tough because of our long winters. Long winters mean a short gardening season, which can be challenging if you love gardening as much as I do.
Right around this time of year I start to get a little impatient for spring to usher in the first days of getting my hands dirty in the soil. My fingernails have been far too clean for the last few months!
That’s why each year it feels like seed starting season arrives at the perfect time. I usually start my onions around the end of February and then work my way through my seed starting calendar over the next month.
Little by little my seed starting rack fills up with tiny, baby plants that I can fuss over and check on every day. Seed starting signals to me that the gardening season has officially begun and that I’ll be back out planting these little green vegetables very soon.
I breath a big sigh of relief when I break out my seed starting supplies each February. Spring is coming, I just have to hold on for a few more weeks.
If you’re a new gardener who’s just embarking on the seed starting journey this year, or a seasoned seed starter who wants to pick up some new tips and techniques, this is the time to do it! I thought I’d share some of my favorite resources from around the internet so you can dig in and get motivated to add to your skills and improve your seed starting process.
This is the time of year when we gardeners are starting to feel the pull of the garden again. Mine is under snow right now, so it’s going to be some weeks before I get to sink my hands into the soil. Luckily, seed starting season begins just when I start to get restless.
Not only does starting your own seeds give you a jumpstart on the gardening season, but it also saves money, allows you to grow unique and colorful varieties you can’t find anywhere else, and is way more fun than buying your plants at the big box store.
Seed starting can feel overwhelming if you’re a newbie. But, trust me, once you get the hang of it you’ll soon find yourself filling up your house with seedlings of all shapes and sizes!
To get you started, here are five of the easiest plants to start from seed:
Early last spring I was in my backyard potting up some seedlings that were still waiting to go into the ground and tidying up my seed starting supplies. It was late afternoon and the sun was shining through the branches of our huge red oak tree. I was feeling the elation that comes with the beginning of spring in Wisconsin. All of the gray days and frigid nights of the past few month were being forgiven – it was time to garden!!
As I happily puttered around my yard I started reflecting on how much extra joy starting my own seeds had brought to my life over the last 10 years.
The steps I take in late February each year – setting up my seed rack in my living room, mixing soil, planting tiny seeds – and the process of caring for my seedlings in the following weeks – watching the fragile first leaves poke through the soil, checking on them, watering them and sometimes fretting over them – are some of my favorite parts of gardening.
There are lots of practical reasons to start seeds like saving money and the ability to grow unique varieties. But, on that spring afternoon I realized that starting seeds had become a treasured yearly ritual for me.
It’s how I cast my hat in the ring for the upcoming season. It’s my declaration of hope for the coming rebirth of spring, my trust that the winter really will end at some point soon, and a re-connection to one of the most important and healing parts of my life – my garden.
On that spring afternoon last year I attempted to capture with my camera some of the beauty and joy of starting seeds. Here’s what I saw through my lens: