It seems like it is time to start some seeds for the spring. But I'm feeling a little lost. I've ordred from seed catalogs in the past and never had any great success with the plants, I've bought from Home Depot and Walmart and also not had great success. I've usually ended up having to buy transplants because my seeds never really take off like they should. If they germinate then they don't ever really get to a hardiness that I would feel good planting in the garden.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. One year I used compost to start them in and almost all of the seeds that germinated seemed to die off within a short time of sprouting. One year I used one of those expensive seed starter soils with vermiculite in it and those sprouted and grew a bit but then just stagnated. Last year I used just plain potting soil and they seemed to do "okay" but none of them were really hardy enough to survive the transplant.
I don't know what to start my seeds in or really even where to get my seeds. And I'm also not real sure which plants I should be starting from seed and which ones should go straight in the bed. I mean, clearly greens and carrotts and lettuces and those sorts of things are best started in the bed, but should Okra or melons or pumpkins be started indoors?
Can someone give me some advice. I've various books but I still don't really feel like I know what I'm doing. Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention, this will be only my second season of gardening in Texas and last year nothing but the Cucumbers was even a little bit successful.
I plant all my seeds, flower and vegetable, directly in the ground. I've never had any luck with starting seeds indoors either. I know someone is going to reply "It's so easy!", but it either works or it doesn't, and I'm one of the unlucky (or dumb) ones. Of course, some vegetables I plant transplants because of the time involved growing from seeds; i.e tomatoes and peppers. I plant okra and cantelope seeds directly in the ground. So don't give up on gardening in Texas - like everything, it just takes practice.
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm Posts: 526 Location: parker county, texas
I had great luck with tomatoes from seed last year by starting them in mini-greenhouses outside during Winter, then transplanting after the danger of frost was over. I use just regular potting soil, but the better quality stuff- not the lowest-cost at Walmart. Walmart has a little better grade that has more "fluff" to it than the stuff in the blue bags. It's worth spending the little extra money. I use clear plastic containers with lids and drill aeration holes toward the top edge of the sides to prevent the seedlings from overheating. You can go ahead and put them outside now in a partly sunny location, and on nice sunny days, the little greenhouses will warm nicely and the seeds will start sprouting. You do need to bring them in overnight if a freeze is expected, at least with tomatoes. I lost some last year by thinking they could survive the cold snap. Many of the veggies are easier to direct-sow, especially the heat-tolerant plants. It's time now to plant onion sets, and in a week or two, you can plant potatoes. It's also time to plant cole crops, and some of the feed stores, Walmart, and HD have plants already.
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