Winter Seed Starting

Now is a good time to get a jump on your spring garden in Texas. We start seeds indoors about two months before the last expected frost. It is important to choose crops that work best in not only your climate, but for your soil type as well.

Our dining room had turned into our green room of sorts as we start our seeds indoors. We only do certain crops inside. We use a special soil to give our crops a boost. We first use compost for nutrients. Next we use potting soil for moisture and nutrients. The last part is sand for drainage. The recipe is one part compost, two parts soil, and one part sand from our garden since we have sandy soil.

The seeds we have started indoors are tomatoes and peppers. We are growing wild tomatoes and grape tomatoes. The wild tomatoes have been good to us. Even when the temperature hit over 100 degrees, they were going strong. They may not be the biggest and plumpest, but they handled the heat well and gave us plenty of tomatoes.

We have three types of peppers started. They are Redskin, Cayenne, and a custom hybrid of Anaheim. My husband has worked on the hybrid for the past few years. We always have such an abundance of peppers that we recently started making our own paprika. If you are interested in our process, you can read about it here.

heatlamps - Copy

Once the seeds start to sprout, we put spot lamps on them. We also start to acclimate them to the outdoors a little at a time. Initially they are placed outside for a couple of hours a day when the weather is good and the time is gradually increased.

When the time comes, we put them in the ground and wait to enjoy the fruits of our labor. My husband puts a cover crop around them and that has helped to retain moisture. It reduces the need for watering and the temperature of the soil.

Have you started any seeds indoors? What are you growing this year?

Shared on simple-saturdays-bw-150 CleverChicksBlogHop200x200_zps22d0429aGreen-Thumb-Thursday-Featured-ImageRooster sitting in a barn on a rural farm

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15 thoughts on “Winter Seed Starting

  1. Michele (Shelly) Starkey

    This, my fiend, is encouragement to begin some Winter Seed Starting since Spring is just around the corner (and under 6 ft snow piles(!) at the moment) But, last year before the thaw was even finished – a little crocus popped her head up – so I want to do some winter seeding 🙂 Thank you. Hugs!

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  2. madbushfarm

    We don’t get snow in Northland New Zealand but it still gets cold in winter and I have to germinate my seeds indoors as well. Great ideas you’ve shared. Hope you aren’t too cold in Texas we’re still roasting here in New Zealand. Very dry right now.

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    1. canaf Post author

      Thanks. The weather here has been up and down. It is supposed to be in the 70s on Saturday and the 30s later in the week. Sounds like you could use some rain. We have been in a drought here for years.

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      1. Michele (Shelly) Starkey

        Thinking I’d be better off in New Zealand or Texas right about now….LOL – more snow coming. Again. But, I spoke to Spring and she assured me that she’s on Her Way! LOL

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  3. aranislandgirl

    Over 100 degrees! I knew that, but just reading it as I’m lined in double fleece…ugh, there’s no counting on a warm summer here.
    I plan to start lettuce seedlings in my tunnel this week. I was in there yesterday and it was heated up to the 70’s. The days are lengthening and, though we may not get enough warmth to grow tomatoes outside, they’ll manage in the tunnel for definite. I am jealous of your warmth from purely a selfish, lying on the beach, point of view. I love it here, but I do miss the wonderful Maine summers I grew up with.
    I am sorry to read you are in a drought. That makes gardening such a challenge, makes all of living a challenge.
    All the best and happy gardening, such a great time of year when all is anew!

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    1. canaf Post author

      Thanks same to you with your gardening. Glad my husband has learned some good techniques for gardening that use less water.

      I don’t like hot summers, but I really hate cold weather. Take care.

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  4. Sidney

    Howdy,
    We also live in Texas around the Houston area and have a square foot garden just waiting to be planted in! What cover plant did you use?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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