Starting Seeds (the new and improved way)

Starting seeds can be such a fun experience, but disappointing when they fail to grow because of harsh climates and uncontrollable environments.  In previous years, I used peat pots and store-bought soil, poked my seeds in, covered the tops with saran wrap and left them to grow in the wildly changing temperatures of my little shed-turned-greenhouse.

The hardier seeds would grow much to my delight, but the tender ones such as tomato seeds were stunted if they grew at all.  This year I invested in a Bio Dome Seed Starter from Park Seeds.  Now my seedlings will grow in a nice, controlled atmosphere and I don't have to mess with loose soil and tiny pots.  All I had to do was soak these funny little soil sponges...

... with pre-drilled seed pockets...

... in a bowl of tepid water until they swelled.

Then I placed them in the Bio Dome planting block- one for every seed I would use.

I pushed them down to secure them and enable them to soak up water from the bottom of the Bio Dome.

Then I inserted tomato and cucumber seeds into the tiny pre-drilled seed pockets.

I then filled the bottom of the tray with one half inch of tepid water, sprinkled the seeds with moisture, and placed the lid.

And now I wait for them to emerge.  I had them in the sunroom, but just recently moved them into the main house to keep them warm since temperatures are falling again.

So far the seeds have shifted around a bit, and I can see them swelling, about to burst into life.

This is my first time with this grow system.  I'm curious to see if it works well.  The Bio Dome has amazing reviews!  But, if you grow a garden and don't want to splurge on a fancy seed starter, check back soon... I have a pretty cute seed starting "tray" of my own coming up!
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  1. I'm intrigued, Heather! We're planning our summer garden right now. I'd like to start my plants from seed, but am wondering how much light they need. Our biggest windows are on the North side and I'm just not sure we have the right spot for them. Any advice?

  2. Jacinda- the amount of light each plant needs varies and can usually be found on the individual seed packet. Some seeds like it dark, but most like a bright place to grow. Once they emerge, they will definitely need a brightly lit place to soak up some warmth and rays. You could always try it and see what happens. I've had success with minimal light with some seeds in the past. Tomatoes, especially need bright light. Once the babies get a few true leaves, I'll be setting them outside for a few hours at a time to adjust them to being outdoors. Let me know if you start any! Really, starting seeds is my favorite part of gardening.


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