Starting Seedlings

I know, it's early to start seed but I have a plan and just couldn't resist. Inside of a walk-in closet I put up a grow light and suspended it about 12-14 inches above the seed starting spot. The lights are 48" fluorescent shop lights that I used last year to start my seedlings. I even made a little light reflector out of cardboard and foil to help increase the amount of light in the seed starting closet.

I've been using a peat pellet system for seed starting. The peat pellets expand once you add water then you plant the seeds inside the moistened pellets. They did a good job last year so I thought I would continue with what works. They come in trays that will bottom water the peat pellets. Once the seedlings are grown to a sufficient size they can be easily transplanted into pots or into the garden.

Here's my plan:
Here's a quick look at what is just started coming up in my seed starting closet!

Salvia officinalis (Sage)

I'll be potting this savory herb in a pot for the windowsill. I may transplant them outside once the weather warms up but they should do fine inside.

Ocimum basilicum (Dark Purple Basil)

I'm not sure we know how to cook without basil! I'd love to have a good pesto pasta this week but I didn't produce enough basil over the summer to store over the winter. I won't make that mistake again. It's about time to re-explore a formal herb garden! The purple just makes it look

Dianthus deltoides 'Arctic Fire'

These seeds came from the American Horticultural Society's Seed Exchange last year. As you can see the seed remained very viable for this year! I need to thin out the seedlings so that one strong plant can grow from each peat pellet. Maybe if I'm lucky I can retain the roots from the pulled seedlings and plant them in a small pot. If not I have plenty of seed to try again.

Lavender angustifolia
(True Lavender, Common Lavender, or English Lavender)

Here is a lavender seedling just emerging. This drought tolerant perennial is planted for its appearance and its fragrance. I started 12 seeds in the hopes that most of them will flourish. I haven't had much success with it in the past but maybe that will change this year!

I started several other seeds but not all have germinated yet. I haven't started any vegetables yet since I need to complete the vegetable garden remodel before I can plant in it. Hopefully I'll manage to get that done this weekend in the 60 degree temperatures! Don't you just love Tennessee winters? One day it's 30 degrees F for a high then three days later its 60F!