I have always wanted to have a home garden. I remember gardening with my mom as a very young girl, the smell of the tomato plants at my “GG’s” (great grandmother’s) house, and I love vegetables. Barrett had started a little garden as a grad student and was on board with starting one as newlyweds – last Christmas he gave me a seed starting tray, various seeds, and a few other supplies. We tried to grow some kale and peppers in little pots, but the Arizona weather handed me a solid loss. Being in a rental home did not motivate us to do anything substantial with the yard/soil, either.
Shortly after moving to Texas we made the ambitious leap from “let’s plant a garden” to “let’s build a hydroponic gardening system in the greenhouse, then start a garden in it.”
[That was Barrett’s idea.] We will have a few blogs to add about our gardening efforts, especially the hydroponics system, but today I want to talk about growing the seeds!
We have a little tool that makes biodegradable seed-starting pots out of newspaper. (Truth: my mother-in-law owns it, but she left it in the shed and we use it!) I keep the weekly grocery store ads and this keeps our supply up for crafting and seed-growing needs. Making the little pots can take some time, but I find it really peaceful to do outside on a nice day, and it is always great to make something with your own hands.
The newspaper pots sit in a little black tray (something like this) on top of a heat mat, which in turns sits on top of a towel while we start the seeds inside (baby it’s cold out there!) We’ll move them to the greenhouse soon to maximize the sun exposure. We also have a grow light to help out for the winter months.
Pro tip: Use any full-spectrum fluorescent light bulbs as grow lights indoor!
I’ll admit, I am still not great at this. We have cucumbers growing in the greenhouse from our fall planting. We have killed a couple of other rounds of seeds by forgetting about them while on vacation. Right now I have leeks and basil growing, and I’m hoping they’ll make it to being planted into the ground in March.