Sunday Seed Starting

The day has finally arrived! We’re eight weeks away from our frost-free date here in Chicago, so seed starting time has officially arrived. I thought I had an abundance of potting soil left over from last season, but apparently I only had about two gallons left. I stretched it with a little perlite I had leftover, so I had enough to get started.

I’m reusing the green windowsill greenhouses I’ve had for a few years now, so I started by rinsing one of them out and wetting down my potting soil. The seeds that got their lucky start today were Martino’s Roma tomatoes, Alpine strawberries, and red bunching onions. I started six tomatoes, six strawberries and eighteen onions, to fill one of the greenhouses. It’s got a plastic lid to keep the moisture in, and I made some makeshift labels by writing the names on some balsa wood strips I pirated from husband’s miniature modeling supplies.

The rest of what I plan to grow this season doesn’t need to be started for another few weeks, and I have enough potting soil yet to fill the second windowsill greenhouse. Time to make a list though, because I am going to need quite a lot of soil to fill the Ikea box planters I plan to use. I’m thinking when we get out to Ikea (I’m hoping we can go in a few weeks) we can load up on potting soil and whatnot since we’ll have to get a car for that jaunt anyway.

The seeds are currently sitting on the kitchen counter next to the sink under a cabinet. I’m going to keep my eye out for a small under-cabinet light fixture to pick up and rig up a makeshift growlight so I don’t get leggy, lethargic seedlings. Hopefully I can find one that will work and isn’t too pricey in the next few days, before the seeds begin to sprout. Guess I should measure that cabinet tonight then…

At any rate, gardening season is officially underway here at Apartment Farm! I’m excited about the prospect about having a deck and patio full of plants this year – and the first bites from the garden are going to taste soooo good!