One for the rock, one for the crow,
One to die, and one to grow.
- English saying
I tried starting plants from seed this year, and though there were several ups and downs, I think I was pretty successful! I started plants both indoor and sowed directly out of doors, and was successful with both.
Here's what I started under fluorescent shop lights (raised way too high), no heat mats:
I started this project in February. I used a Burpee kit for most of the plants, experimented with Jiffy pots for the Impatiens, and used potting soil and old plastic pots for the Foxgloves. The Burpee kits were easy to use, but difficult to pop the plants out of. The potting soil was cheap and retained a lot of water, which the Foxgloves didn't seem to mind. I only got about 50% germination with the Jiffy pots. Oh yeah, I only used about 2-3 seeds per cell, then thinned them out to one, maybe two seedlings once there were true leaves on the seedlings. Once I hit mid-April, I brought the seedlings out to my front porch to harden off (What a pain!). I potted up the annuals and planted the perennials around the second week of May.
Overall, I will definitely try it again. Here are some things I will do differently:
Direct Sown Plants:
Nasturtiums -- Takes a while to Germinate, but grows and blooms fast
Lathyrus odaratus (Sweet Pea) -- Germinates fast, takes a while to bloom
Sunflowers -- Smaller kind (5 ft) germinates and blooms fast, larger (10ft+) germinates fast too, but takes a while to bloom
California Poppy -- very happy with these, germinated fast bloomed early (June) and heavily and won't quit (filled up a 3x4 space with one packet of seeds)
Cosmos binnapatus -- used a seed mat due to a sloping area. Did OK, but I'm not sure I'd do it again b/c the white seed mat was so ugly in the spring and had to be watered frequently (daily).