Oh, the excitement is mounting. This will be the first year in a long time that I can go from starting seeds all the way to harvest and starting garlic in one place. Aw, yeah. This is truly my passion and I'm so looking forward to this year. I think the whole family is looking forward to it. Starting seeds, building treehouses to keep the littles busy while I (we) tend the garden, Maggie starting her flower business (Mags will be selling bouquets this year to start making her own money, Sarah might be too and helping sell duck eggs), putting soil on the garden, direct seeding and transplanting seedlings. Exciting!!
I will go into a little more detail next time on how I start seeds, but this is the gist of it. I intensively sow as many seeds as I want transplants in a small pot in soiless soil (two pots if I need a lot of seedlings). I use soiless soil so that I can easily pull apart plants and the seedlings don't have die off like they would with soil that could be carrying bacteria in it. I go by what the package says on the depth of planting, maybe a little less, I gently press the seeds into the soil and put as much soil on top for the depth. I then put them in a seed starting tray on top of my grow mat and cover them in plastic (clear or opaque is fine). The metal part that keeps the seed starting tray directly off the mat does not fit on these shelves so I used dowels to keep them above it. I also add shop lights (on a timer for 12 hours) just for the germination phase.
This tray includes snapdragon and statice seeds for Maggie's flowers, tomato seeds (roma, isis candy, and marglobe), milkweed, rudbeckia (goldilocks variety, my fave), and calendula (resina and zeolights). Resina calendula is really good for using in herbal salves, cream, lip balm, etc. In a couple weeks we will start basil and several others seeds that only need 4-6 weeks inside.