Friday, March 16, 2012


Well, I did something right. Only 24 hours later, did my kale and collard seeds start germinating! I kind of figured these would be the ones that would germinate first, only because last season I sowed them directly into the beds and they came up crazy fast. Either way, the whole seed to food process still fascinates me.

Little germinating Collard seed

My favorite seed so far has to be the Rainbow Swiss Chard. I'm a sucker for anything with obscure texture and color. So when these little guys started popping up, my heart melted a bit.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Overall, both beds are doing great! I'm so happy, and really, this is all much easier than I anticipated. I'm still getting the outside ready for planting; I did toss some flower seeds in some of our containers today since it was so nice out. It might be a little early, but I figured why not and see what happens!

More of the little guys

My puppy and some spring flowers

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


My last two grow lights finally came in yesterday, and with that last piece of the puzzle in place, I am ready to start growing!

This weather in Chicago has been incredible. I spent part of Sunday outside getting the beds ready, and figuring out what containers I will need to make all of this garden magic happen. I found a wooden crate on my walk home from work last summer, and though it would be perfect to grow something in. I wish I could find more of these around town or in the alley to use and line up along the fence of the patio.

Found alley crate

So yes! I've started the little seedlings. I have 60 total that I've started indoors, and a bunch of seeds I am going to sow direct once all my beds are in order. I forgot to mention that I used a seed starting mixture by Hoffman in the pots. It's very light and got good reviews on Amazon, so I went with it (note: I've been in freelance hell and had to buy almost everything over the internet).

Filled peat pots

Everything seems to be going wonderfully so far. It's also a good thing that I like to keep my apartment around 70 degrees all of the time. I checked on my "greens" this morning and already saw some germination with the collards and kale seeds! Being this is my first time seeding, I started to freak out and took a picture to text to all of my friends!

Germinating collard seed

Final set up!

This is all super exciting for me, and I can't wait to document what the next few weeks will bring! Also, a good friend of mine gave me this guy to put in my garden for good luck:

Love this guy!

Here's to spring and gardens and puppies!

Friday, March 9, 2012


After much, much research and numerous Amazon orders, I'm just about ready to start my seedlings.

The final set up!

It's a small start, but I'm pretty damn proud of myself. I don't get much direct light in my little apartment, so I purchased two of the light fixtures to hold two grow lights each. I also have two of the heat mats under the trays.

Since this is my first time growing seedlings, I am experimenting a bit, too. I am using a combination of my newspaper seed pots as well as some peat pots to start my seeds. I am fully confident that my newspaper pots will be amazing, but I just want to test them both out.

Seedling magic.

I also decided to make my own seed labels from some plastic containers that once contained honey dew melon from Whole Foods. Talk about sustainable!

Can you spot the seed labels?

Yes, the recycled container for these labels was clear, which makes it a little challenging to read them for the time being. I'll make new ones once I clean out those yogurt containers.

The only thing left in waiting is the last two grow lights and then it's planting time! Oh, and then I need to figure out where all these seedlings are going to be planted...