The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Baby photos

Alpine strawberry seed curling out of its seed caseWhy do gardeners start so many seedlings indoors when the plants nearly always do just as well when planted in a cold frame or simply direct-seeded after the last frost?  My best guess is that the same antsiness I feel as the days get longer affects everyone else too.  Starting some alpine strawberries this winter has been a good way to feed the ache without going nuts with grow lights and flats.

It took two solid weeks for my strawberries to germinate, but this weekend I noticed the first tiny specks of white as roots started digging into the stump dirt.  Monday, the cotyledons began to unfurl from Alpine strawberry seedlingthe seed coats, and Wednesday the flat was full of tiny green leaves, each one heavy with a drop of dew.  I guess it's nearly time to take the lid off and let them start growing!

We're due to start some plants outside this week, too, if the ground thaws out.  People around here traditionally plant their first peas on Valentine's Day --- it's a crap shoot, but in the years when the early peas grow, everyone who bowed out is jealous.  I'll also be tossing out some poppy seeds, some for us to eat and some just for the bees.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've given up on starting seedlings. My technique and supplies were always substandard anyway. Never seemed to save me any time and frost claimed most of my plants once I put them out. Still, starting those strawberries will probably be a time saver.
Comment by Brandy Fri Feb 12 07:40:41 2010
Yeah, I'd say starting things inside definitely doesn't save time or money. But it does keep me sedated until the real planting begins. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Feb 12 08:08:42 2010

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