Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy March 15th

Happy March 15th! That may seem a strange greeting, but for me, March 15th is the traditional day for sowing a variety of seeds - from tomatoes to peppers to basil to leeks! I'll be a day off this year, as I'm down in North Adams, MA meeting with my publisher, but when I get home tomorrow, I'll be pulling out the seed trays, potting soil and shoeboxes of seed! (yes, I said shoeboxes - I need 4 now to keep all my seed tidy. I might be seed hoarder!)

I also need to get my grow-lights ready. I have 3 tiers of them set up in my basement and I'm able to grow about 12 flats of seeds at any one time. As the season nears, some of the flats will move outside for hardening off, and other seeds will be started. Most gardeners turn their grow lights off in early June, once the tomatoes are in the garden. Not me! Being the obsessive gardener that I am, I keep planting more seed indoors - broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage and so on, so that I can transplant them into the garden in early to mid-July for a fall harvest.

Anyway, I hope that any gardeners who haven't tried growing their own veggies (or flower or herbs!) from seed will give it a go this spring. It's not too late! It's also very rewarding growing your own, plus, you get to pick from varieties that aren't usually available if you buy transplants from your local shop. Most greenhouses offer just a handful of tomato seedlings, but if you start your own, you can pick from hundreds! Just pop into your local garden centre and pick up some seed (see older posts for seed starting tips as well as some of my variety recommendations!). Good luck and..

Happy Gardening!


  1. Did you build your own grow lights system or did you buy it? I am wanting to invest in doing this myself so I;m not buying from the store and growing rare varieties :) Needing some help, I'm a veggie beginner (2nd yr in) :)

    1. Hi Georgina, I built my system which is basically a two-tier wooden structure. On each tier, there are 2 four-foot shop light fixtures. Each fixture uses 2 fluorescent light bulbs. I keep the shop light fixtures on chains that are attached to the wooden structure and this allows me to move the lights up and down very easily. The lights should be no further than 3 inches away from the top of the plants as they grow.. Hope that helps! :)


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)