Seed-starting workshop!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Brijette quizzes the group on various topics. Prizes were bags of organic native soil fertilizer.
We were ready to get our hands dirty!
Susan has successfully planted her seedlings! I can’t wait until they produce veggies and we get some of the veggies at a summer crop swap.