Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starting Seeds Indoors: Peppers and Tomatoes

This is my second year of gardening.  I was so excited all winter long about starting the garden again in the spring.

We have had a pretty non-existent winter around here.  Several days in January were approaching sixty degrees!  That is practically unheard of for Colorado.  But while many others were lamenting the lack of snow I was happily enjoying the "spring-y" fee in the air.

To get a jump start on gardening I like to start the pepper and tomato plants indoors 2-3 months before transplanting so that they are nice and big come the end of May.  I may jump the gun a bit with starting seeds, but last year's tomatoes were started super early and they produced like nobody's business.

Last year I grew twenty-four Roma tomato plants, a few yellow tomatoes, three bell peppers, two Anaheim peppers, and 2 jalapeno plants.

This year I plan on growing, preserving, and freezing a lot more hot peppers.  We put peppers in nearly everything and our supply of frozen roasted chilies was depleted by the middle of October.  I also plan on canning more diced and whole tomatoes this year because we do not have enough to last us until tomato season starts up again at the end of the summer.

Last Sunday (2/12/12) I planted the following:

24 Roma Tomato Plants

8 Yellow Jubilee Tomato Plants

4 Boston Pickling Cucumber Plants

4 Anaheim Pepper Plants

8 Jalapeno Pepper Plants

8 Bell Pepper Plants

Not Pictured: 8 Poblano Pepper Plants

Everything mentioned above was planted in peat pots that I found at Big Lots for $2.50 a pack.  What a deal!  I am reusing the two large Jiffy plastic greenhouse containers from last year.  The seeds are planted in Miracle Grow seed starting soil.  Last year the plants started in the Miracle Grow soil germinated very quickly and grew into big, healthy plants.  I also like how this potting soil has a moisture control formula that helps new gardeners like me avoid over or under watering the delicate seedlings.

The greenhouse containers are sitting on the kitchen counter right beneath a west facing window.  So far they seem to be getting plenty of sunlight and it looks like a coupe of the cucumbers are starting to poke through the top of the soil.

Photo Credit: