Seed starting for Spring planting

It’s that time of the year again, time to start a few things from seed for planting in May.  This year I got off to something of a late start and didn’t put my seeds in until March 17 – well better late than never.

My basement potting bench

Since a real greenhouse quality setup is beyond my needs and budget I use a 5-shelf metal rack with fluorescent shop lights on each level.  This is all plugged into a timer so I can control the amount of light, very important since this is all setup in my basement!  My big splurge was a heat mat which I use for the initial seed germination step.

I usually start my tomatoes, peppers and basil in the rack and sometimes I’ll also start chamomile or some annuals.  Last year I discovered the zinnias were just as happy to start outside directly in the garden around the beginning of June.  Last frost in my area is officially around May 15 so I usually don’t set out the tender annuals until Memorial Weekend.

This years varieties:

Tomatoes:
Yellow Pear
Tumbling Tiger
Warren’s Yellow
Sugar Plum
German Orange Strawberry

Peppers:
Diamond
Cubanelle
Pepperoncini (Italian Peppers)

Basil:
Genovese
Crimson King
Licorice

Dill:
Fernleaf – this is an experiment, never grown dill from seed purposely

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