Sprouting seedlings


Growing on the kitchen windowsill: cherry tomatoes, basil, beefsteak tomatoes, and red and green peppers.

I’m reorganizing my son’s room to shift the bookcase to a spot under the window. The seedlings will move there where they’ll be able to get more sun and not strain so hard.

This is the first year I’ve been on the ball enough to start seeds indoors. It helps that our winter has been super mild and it’s practically spring like out there now. Usually we’re shivering under heaps of snow this time of year and I have a really difficult time wrapping my head around planning for the garden.

But mostly I owe credit to the fabulous Sprout Robot! I pinned it a while back, and have been using it ever since. It’s really so simple and perfect. Enter your zip code and it’ll tell you what to start planting and when for your location; it’ll even email you so you don’t forget. This week we’re starting leeks and broccoli (it kept the peppers and tomatoes on there from the weeks previous):

Now, if we can just keep everything alive until it’s time to plant outside. Fingers crossed!

I can’t remember what our little seed trays are called, but they had pellet things like this that we rehydrated with water and watched as they expanded and grew. Then we planted our own seeds in them, covered them with plastic lids for a greenhouse effect and waited.

We’ve also been collecting toilet paper and paper towel rolls so we can try this as well.

I’m also eyeballing DIY incubators, or maybe we’ll just spring for one? Our rooster is pretty frisky out there, so we’re pretty sure all the hens are loaded.

Pushing publish and praying I haven’t jinxed everything. Watch, tomorrow it’ll snow four feet and all my weenie little plants will perish next to the frosty windowsills.

Any spring-thinking plans going on at your house?


  1. Jorja says

    Ohhh Eeeeeekkk!! I am SO excited for Spring to finally get here! I bought all my seeds a couple of weeks ago and I can’t wait to throw them in the ground. I am a direct seeder over here since I don’t have the space for starting things inside. But we are planning a greenhouse this year, so I can grow things year round. We are also thinking about an incubator and hatching out some eggs, but we are nervous about the idea of butchering chickens if/when we get five or six roosters out of a clutch! Spring is my favorite time of year and I always want to rush into it. But I know we can get a major snowstorm up until the end of April, so I am not pushing it. Anyhow, fun to see your Spring gardening plans.

    • jessica says

      We keep dreaming of a greenhouse – I’m dragging my feet because if we move it needs to move with us? Or if we move soon we can just build it at the new place… don’t know! We need one though.

      ALSO dragging our feet on culling our hens that have slowed/stopped laying. Surprised to find my husband a little leery of doing the killing. We’ll have to get my dad to show us how he does it, he has this method where he skins the chicken all at once so you don’t have to pluck feathers.

  2. says

    We tried doing seeds indoor two years, but I really failed at weatherizing them (or what ever you call it to get them used to the wind/temps outside) and they died or just didn’t do well once we put them in the garden…where the plants I bought did super well. So, I decided to stick with just buying pre-started plants since then. It doesn’t help the room we started them in is now the room for our 2 and 1 year old, and I can’t trust them to have seeds in that room. My dad starts the tomatoes for us, he just does double duty. We, too, are having a super mild winter in Indiana and feel spring is here! I’m ready to put the spinach and sweet peas in (they say in this area they can go in around St. Patrick’s Day), but we’re redoing our raised beds and making more, so I need to wait until my husband has time to do all that!

    • jessica says

      Eep! I didn’t know about weatherizing.. I’ll have to read up on that. That would be so like me to raise lovely seedlings and then kill them dead outside.

      The seeds have been moved to the 3 year old’s room – scary, no? But he’s pretty good with ‘don’t touch’ and ‘don’t water these for mommy.’ Fingers crossed again!

  3. Lora says

    Wow, the Sprout Robot is fantastically useful. Thanks!

    Our last significant snow/ice storm was in the fall, so I’m wary of a possible spring surprise in the wake of the mid-Atlantic region’s mild winter.

    • jessica says

      Isn’t it though? I’d been searching for something like that! Love it.

      It seems like we always get surprises… looks like storm clouds are rolling in as I type. Le sigh.

    • jessica says

      I pinned something like that too, though I didn’t know if I felt like making a hundred of them. I’ll have to see if the boys want to help… we have plenty of TP rolls though, geesh, this family and toilet paper.

  4. says

    signed up for SproutRobot today and started tomatoes, peppers and broccoli!!! We’ll see how it goes…

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