The first signs of the approaching Spring are starting to appear- daffodils are blooming and the fields are exploding with fiery mustard blossoms. It may still be cold and rainy, but it’s time to start thinking about starting spring vegetable seeds!

Here's some lettuce and spinach along with various seedlings in the greenhouse.

Right now is an excellent time to direct seed peas. I’ve been planting snow peas and shelling peas primarily. Its also a good time to direct seed lettuce and spinach, or grow them indoors, or in cold frames. Make sure to protect them from hungry birds with chicken wire or crop cover.

Here is an example of a self watering container. Click on the photo for the full image.

Now is also a good time to start summer vegetable seedlings (like tomatoes and beans) indoors. Find a sunny window and plant in 4in pots or in seed starters available at Lee Valley garden supply. These seed starters water from below via capillary action, so all you have to do is fill the reservoir every so often. You can also make your own self-watering container out of an old tupperware. See the link on the right.

I have found that seedlings do much better if you use soil with fertilizer mixed in. You can buy soil with fertilizer in it or you can add it. I like Sure Start and Osmocote. If you are growing seeds indoors, you can buy a plant light at the hardware store that emits the spectrum that plants need. It is important to not over or under water your seedlings. That’s why watering from below makes a lot of sense because the plant only absorbs what it needs.

Seedlings in the greenhouse, placed on top of heat mats to speed their growth.