Last time, I posted about my favorite seed source, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Just three days after ordering, my seeds arrived yesterday! So, today, I ran out and picked up some seed starting kits and got down to business. I used a mixture of organic seed starting medium and coir fiber, always hydrated first, then filled the seed cells with it loosely.

This year, I’ve decided to start all my seeds about 9 weeks before the date I plan to set them out in the garden. I know a few will grow more quickly, and need to be put in bigger pots at some point, but better to have bigger plants, right?

I usually start seeds in about twice as many cells as I think I have room for in the garden. And because I only have two 8’x4′ beds for vegetables, that’s not many. Some seeds never germinate, and some come out a little sickly, so the number comes out about right. I’ll usually sow 2-3 seeds in each cell, then thin them a few weeks down the line.

So, here’s what I started today:

Eggplant:
Violette Loungue Hative – an early, elongated variety
Thai White Ribbed – a squat pumpkin shaped variety said to be very mild. This one was thrown in free from Baker Creek!

Thai White Ribbed Eggplant

Ground Cherry: Also called a husk cherry, it seems to be a relative of the tomatillo. Last summer, I bought a pint from the farmers market and found them really delicious. If they do well, they’re supposed to be really productive, so I think some preserves will be in order.

Ground Cherry

Purple Tomatillo: A large, sweet tomatillo that’s purple all the way through. Can’t wait for the salsa verde (or salsa morada, I guess.)

Purple Tomatillo

Tomato:
Vorlon – A purple/black variety (my favorite) from Bulgaria with a smoky, organic flavor. I’m excited about this one! Last summer, my favorite was Black Krim, which I’m hoping to find a seedling of at a garden sale. Vorlon is supposed to be even better!
Riesentraube – A largeish cherry tomato, said to have a rich, full tomato flavor. Normally, I’m not a fan of cherry tomatoes (too sweet,) but this description sounded really good, and my wife loves cherry tomatoes.

Riesentraube Tomato

Pepper: Leutschauer Paprika – I love stuffing paprika peppers with goat cheese and thyme and brushing honey on them. This one is a good medium hot pepper that also dried well.

Cucumber: Early Russian – Last summer, my cucumbers never took off. We ended up with two tiny, bitter gherkins. hopefully, these will survive the spring. This one’s taste is good, and it ripens in June, so double bonus!

Purslane – This is an experiment. I’ve never even eaten purslane before. As I understand it, this is pretty much the same semi-succulent weed I used to dread pulling in my dad’s garden. It’s supposed to be pretty mucilaginous, but I saw a delicious looking recipe for a Turkish purslane salad, so it’s worth a shot for $1.50, right? This can be started early or direct sown, so I’m trying both.

Kale: Blue Curled Scotch – Kale is so versatile and delicious, and as these plants should last all year long into the early winter with some careful harvesting.

Lettuce: Sanguine Ameliore – A loose headed romaine type with red speckles, this one looks about as beautiful as lettuce can get. I’ll direct sow this and some another lettuce mix, as well.

Sanguine Ameliore Lettuce

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