The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Homes

March 16, 2013

Starting the garden

It's not too early to begin growing seeds indoors

ANDERSON, Ind. — Even if it’s too early to grab a shovel and head for the garden, the time has come to start growing seeds indoors.

To get a jump on the season and enjoy fresh vegetables sooner, planting in trays can provide healthy sprouts to transfer once spring finally does break.

As a Master Gardener who has taught workshops on plant propagation, Tami Coleman can walk even a novice through the steps to spawning a successful garden. Her propagation bench is filled with trays that have little green sprouts poking their heads above the soil.

“This is great therapy,” said Coleman, member of the Anderson Tree Commission. “By this time of year everyone is tired of winter and it is such a hoot to walk over and pick up the lid a couple times a day and see something happy and growing. It’s great for getting over the blahs.”

u Step 1: Space out seeds of favorite vegetables on a damp a paper towel and insert into a Ziploc bag — one bag for each type of veggie. Wrap the bags together in a dark cloth and store them in a warm place for about a week.

Choose long-season vegetables or vegetables tender to the frost. This includes everything in the nightshade family, including tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Even cold weather vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, can be started inside and transplanted later.

Seeds need dampness and darkness to sprout. Packages will inform gardeners exactly how long to allow germination before moving to soil. By doing this, duds can be weeded out before planting. Coleman discards any seed that has not sprouted in the paper towels.

u Step 2: Mix soil appropriate for seeds.

Laymen may assume that the more nutrients in the soil, the better. Coleman says that seeds need lean — or nutrient free — soil to grow well.

“Seeds actually have all the nutrients they need,” she said. “What you want is a sterile mix that is disease free. The more nutrients that are in the soil, the more molds you will have. I make my own mix because I find the commercial mixes are not light enough.”

In a large purple container she combines several mixes to get just the right consistency. If a gardener chooses to purchase soil, she should look for one designated for seeds rather than plants.

u Step 3: Fill pots with soil.

By keeping small pots from previous years, she has plenty to start this year’s garden. Some are thin plastic flats while others are round pots. She does steer clear of containers with no holes in the bottom — for reasons that become clear in a future step.

u Step 4: Carefully plant the sprouted seeds.

Using a marker, she makes an indentation in the center of the pot. Using tweezers she carefully removes the sprouted seed from the damp paper towel and places it in the hole. Since she has carefully labeled the plastic bags that housed the seeds, she can also label the pots.

“You get extra points for getting the roots down,” she added.

u Step 5: Water from the bottom.

Most people will pour water over the top of their freshly planted seeds. It only seems natural — that is where the rain would fall. However, this is the point where Coleman uses the strategically-placed holes in the bottom of the containers.

“When you water from the top you create hills and valleys,” she explained. “They can push the seed around and uproot seedlings. Placing water in the tray and letting it soak up into the pots is a gentle way to water the seeds.”

u Step 6: Provide plenty of light and water.

While her propagation bench does have florescent lights to aid the growth of her tiny plants, artificial light is not necessary — as long as an adequate supply of light is available. Windows that face south are a great substitute for artificial light.

“When you garden you are always learning,” said Coleman. “You learn new techniques and about new plants to grow. It’s a great way to always be learning something new about nature, the environment and your own abilities.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an email to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only
Homes
  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0413 - 0959 Starting over

    Ryan and Janae Ledbetter may not have moved far geographically, but the differences in their lifestyle and surroundings are huge. A new style of house has called for new décor and furnishings, which is suiting the family well.

    April 12, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0406 homes photo 0861 Home of a Thousand Transformations in Edgewood Kevin Miles carefully chose an Edgewood home, and then carefully chose a wife. Upon wedding Stephanie, he freely relinquished the reigns of decorating his home.

    April 5, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0330 0485 Crafting a headboard Since the headboard of a bed is often the focal point of a bedroom, crafty people are resourcefully using a number of unusual items to create an original piece with flair.

    March 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0323 Homes_0798 Sold at the view When Ryan and Sarah Smith moved from Little Rock, Ark., to the land of cornfields, they thought they were leaving fun-filled woods and hills behind. After touring an old home in Forest Hills, they discovered a wonderland that reminded them of home.

    March 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0316 Homes 0757 Topping off the kitchen Countertops can make or break a kitchen remodel. No matter how beautiful the cabinets, the eye will always be drawn to the surface area of the smooth, glossy top that will provide workspace for meal preparations.

    March 15, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0309 Homes56 Re-entering society Transitional housing for women re-entering society after incarceration has been available through the faith-based Sister 2 Sister program since December 2009, but the facility has only been able to house four women at a time. The ministry recently purchased a house that will service three times as many women.

    March 8, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEAHB03020701.JPG Oriental flair

    Trish Janutolo may have only spent 3 1/2 years in Japan, but the experience touched her life in such a way that she remains surrounded by the culture through her home accents and furnishings.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0223 Homes 0662 Time for a change — again Shortly after their marriage 14 years ago, Phil and Catrina Cooper moved into a new home near Killbuck Lake. Two babies arrived and kept their itch for something new at bay for a while, but the need to shake things up resulted in a total remodel of the interior in 2011.

    February 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0209 Homes 0557 Dressing the panes Many clients have been stepping into Grace Place, the new home décor shop in Anderson, and asking owners the same question: "How can I change the look of a room without a lot of expense?"

    February 8, 2014 6 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Oscar Pistorius' murder trial has gripped South Africa and sports fans worldwide. If he is found guilty of premeditated murder he faces 25 years to life in prison. Do you think he intentionally shot his girlfriend?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results