Tuesday Garden Party 03.11.14

How to Start Plants From Seeds - An Oregon Cottage

Happy Tuesday Garden Party friends! I’m happy to say that I’ve updated the first in my vegetable gardening series: How to Start Plants From Seeds with lots of new photos! This baby has been on my to-do list a long time (though not as long as the cottage tour – sheesh, do I feel like I’ve got a back-log of stuff around here!) and since I was starting my seeds for the 2014 season a few days ago, it was the perfect time to take new photos and update this post.

Trays of seedlings 3.14 - An Oregon Cottage

And yes, did you catch that? I did get my seeds started this last week – yeah! I planted seeds of tomato, sweet & hot pepper, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower (purple, orange and white!). If we get some dry weather this week, I hope to get the first spinach, lettuce, and beets in the ground.

Two things to notice about my seedling trays in the photo above:

  1. I am using a seedling heat mat now (this is an Amazon affiliate link to the exact mat I use). I started using one two years ago to see if it made a difference in how quickly the seeds sprouted and I LOVE it. I never thought it would matter much, but after years of struggling with pepper seedlings I realized what they like – heat! I have much better success with them now that I use the mat – well worth the $25 I spent, in my opinion, as the mat should last for years. Do any of you use a heat mat?
  2. Our diy fir-flooring counter still has the scratch marks from our dog-and-seedling mishap from last year – here’s hoping no mouse tempts him to overturn the seed trays this season!
  3. Okay, three – I thought of another thing: see how the clear dome lids have lots of moisture? That’s why you remove them as soon as you see any seedlings sprout – even if there are lots that haven’t sprouted yet. All that moisture could cause your precious seedlings to keel over from damping-off fungus, and we definitely don’t want that!

SO, I know that some of you in the Northeast are bracing for another batch of snow (ugh…) but are you doing anything like starting seeds or planting anything indoors to help usher in spring?

Tuesday Garden Party


  1. says

    I planted my sugar snap peas in the garden but I haven’t gotten the seeds started inside. I have the soil and the containers. All I have to do is find the time to get it done. I need to purchase a warming mat. Right now I use the top of my refrigerator as a warming mat. :) But a warming mat would be more convenient.

  2. says

    Supposed to be dry and in the 60’s all week – and 67 on Saturday!!! Wahoo! I can’t wait to spend some time outside. And the yard definitely needs it.
    I wish I had a spot to do seeds. We’re just packed to the gills in the this little house. The garage is a nightmare, and that’s really the only place I’d be able to make it happen. :(

    • says

      Oh, man – I hope so, Mindy! Our yard is needing major cleanup, too. And I just saw a BHG photo of a little metal rolling shop cart that they attached a fluorescent light to (the bottom shelf) to start a tray of seedlings – isn’t that cool? You can just roll it where ever you can fit it for a few months and then move it out of the way the rest of the year. Maybe an option?

  3. says

    So glad to see you are hosting again and out of ‘hibernation’. I look forward to reading your post. Last year I started plants from seed with only mild success, so perhaps I can improve my results with your input.

  4. Jan says

    Oooohhhhh, I hope maybe I can plant a few seeds this year. :). What is easiest to grow? On a side note, I baked the maple mustard chicken a few weeks back, and everyone loved it!!!! :)

    • says

      Oh, I’m glad, Jan – that’s one of our family’s favs! As for what’s easiest to grow – it depends on where and amount of light, but lettuce is a pretty good place to start. Radishes are easy, too, if you like them!

  5. Michele Laughlin says

    Not sure if I did the linky thing correctly, but I started my seeds on March 1! I’ve used a seed mat for the past few years, also and boy, do I get great results!
    I linked to some pictures of my seed starts that I transplanted on March 4…they are really taking off! Hope you can see them.

  6. says

    I’m so excited that the Garden Party is back. We’re putting in the bulk of our summer garden this week – it’s spring break here so we have lots of time at home. Thanks for hosting, Jami!

    • says

      Sorry, Michele, that you are having problems linking up! I think there’s a help button in the upper right of the InLinkz box that come up when you push the blue button – maybe that would help?

      I did take a look at your post – and wow, your seedlings really did take off!! What fun. :)

      I tried to leave a comment, but it only let me do it as my G+ profile and I had to share to my circles, which seemed really odd since it was a comment to you. It wouldn’t let me choose anything else. :(

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