Now that you’ve gone through an entire season of seed starting, you need to take some time to sit down and review your successes and failures. Taking stock of what worked and what didn’t is an important part of being successful year after year at seed starting. By doing this you’ll learn from your mistakes and hopefully not make them again. It will also help you understand the exact needs of your garden and climate. You’ll also start to develop techniques that work well for you and you’ll start to figure out which methods you prefer.
If you make the extra effort each to experiment with a few types of plants each year, you’ll develop your own successful techniques much quicker. Perhaps you can try germinating a flat of peppers with a seedling heat mat and without, see if it’s worth the extra money to invest in a few heating mats to ensure better germination. You could try direct seeding some onions and starting some in flats indoors to see which option works best in your garden. For example this year I didn’t start my lettuce until February. Now I know, I need to start lettuce in January each year so I have nice seedlings to transplant into the cold frame as early as I can.
Since each area garden is essentially it’s own microclimate you will learn more and more about it each year. You may find that because your garden is sheltered by large trees and you live on top of a hill, this allows you to plant things out a week or two earlier than those that live in low-lying areas nearby. Or you may find that your garden collects cold air and you need to plant a week or two later than those around you. This is a great time to start planning your seed starting calendar for next year so you remember what you want to start earlier or later.
Spending some time thinking about the seed starting season will also help you identify your limits and boundaries. Perhaps moving 15 trays of large plants in and out of cover during weather changes was more work than you are willing to put in. From now on you can start your tomatoes a few weeks later so you only have to move a couple trays of small seedlings. Then you can plant them directly in the garden when the weather is warm. Maybe after a year of seed starting you’ll realize that it’s not for you, that you want to purchase your seedlings at a local greenhouse. If you don’t time to sit down and think about these things after the seed starting season is over you may forget by the time planting season rolls around next spring.
What lessons have you learned throughout your seed starting career be it only 1 season or 60?
The rest of the Seed Starting 101 Series
Why Start from Seed
The Needs of Seeds
Diseases and Problems
Learn More Each Season
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