We hosted a seed-starting workshop at our home in early February and had so much fun! I don’t think Todd and I planted any seeds at the workshop but just really enjoyed convening a lot of gardeners and sharing our passion for gardening.
Brijette Pena, founder of San Diego Seed Company, made a repeat appearance (her workshop last Fall is what inspired this blog). And she brought her usual fun and entertaining self while teaching us a LOT about successfully starting and growing warm-season vegetables. We planted arugula, squash and tomatoes, and a lot of people bought extra seed packets to plant. Since San Diego Seed Company is upgrading their packaging, she sold the old-design packets for $2 each and also allowed us to plant some seeds from her “secret stash.”
Three points I took away from the workshop re: how to successfully grow seedlings:
- Give seedlings a LOT of light once they’ve sprouted. Seeds need a lot of light or they’ll start stretching toward their light source and become “leggy,” weak and thin.
- Harden off seedlings before planting them. This means you need to gradually get them accustomed to being outside, in the hot sun, etc. I start a lot of warm-season seedlings in our sunroom, which is very protected. By putting seedlings outside for a few hours and then gradually increasing the amount, I’m getting them used to their new environment so they can thrive.
- Keep seeds moist at all times, but not too wet. If the soil is constantly soggy and boggy, seedlings will suffer from “dampening off,” a fungal disease that weakens and kills the baby sprout. I typically water the bottom tray in which the seed tray sits so plants can soak up water from the bottom. If there’s water left in the tray after a few hours, I pour it out.
Here are some photos of the workshop. Thanks to all who attended!
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