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Friday Favorite: Starting from Seed

April 12th, 2013

There’s nothing I love more than starting my own plants from seed. Partly, I do it to save money. When you have a garden as large as I do, you could easily go bankrupt trying to buy plants. Starting from seed is a great way to get a lot of plants for minimal monetary investment. I also like starting from seed because you can find really interesting varieties.
tiny asparagus seedlings 2
Take this asparagus for example, it’s ‘Precoce D’Argenteuil’, an old French heirloom which is prized for it’s tastiness. I also started ‘Mary Washington’ asparagus seeds this year as well. (source: Baker Creek)
tiny asparagus seedlings 1
Not only can you find rare and unique varities, it’s so much fun to watch the life cycle of a plant starting from seed. These tiny asparagus spears make me smile. Even though I know it will be 3 years before I can harvest anything from these plants, when I finally do I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what these plants have seen throughout their lifecycle.

What’s your favorite seedling to see in spring?

16 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Starting from Seed”
  1. kathi Cook on April 12, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Anything that I start from seed is my favorite. Currently I am growing micro greens( to eat now),tomatoes,globe basil,and zinnias.The miracle of germination is always a treat to watch.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  2. Greg on April 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

    For some reason, I especially like that you used a Canadian penny :) It actually has slightly more value at the moment!

    We’re looking forward to starting some seeds this weekend, too!

    Reply to Greg's comment

  3. whit on April 12, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Definitely tomatoes are my favourite. Getting the tomato-y smell on your hands as early as i can is like my Prozac when we are experiencing springs like we are now (last week we received 4 inches of rain in 3 days…ugh!)

    Your asparagus are amazing!

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  4. Adriana on April 12, 2013 at 7:45 am

    It’s hard to pick a favorite. I do love the smell of tomatoes, especially on the dark, damp days of spring.

    Reply to Adriana's comment

  5. Dave on April 12, 2013 at 8:16 am

    We started Mary Washington in 2010 but I never got the seedlings in the ground. I overwintered in the cold frame and throughout the winter I thought they were goners.

    Lo and behold the little buggers came back so I prepared a bed for them and put them. It looks like we will harvest a few spears of asparagus this year, only a few but something. We can’t wait!

    Reply to Dave's comment

  6. Annie on April 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

    My favorite is still just the tomatoes. I don’t even try to buy them from the store anymore so the anticipation and savoring of that wonderful taste is sublime.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  7. Hazel on April 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I too like the Canadian penny in the photo. You should hold on to that one, we’re not making/using them anymore!

    My favourites seedlings to start are the alliums (because they’re usually first, and remind me in mid-winter that spring will eventually arrive) and the tomatoes (because by then spring is just around the corner!)

    I started asparagus from seed three years ago and am looking forward to the first harvest this spring. It really is a great way to get lots of asparagus crowns. For $2 I have 60+ plants. If I wanted to I could do as some growers do and harvest the female plants to death leaving a supposedly more productive all-male patch. (Not quite my plan a the moment as I think having some asparagus seedlings pop up on their own is not necessarily a bad thing.)

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  8. judym on April 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I love watching just about everything come up. Witnessing the development of different seedlings is so fasinating.

    We have had our Martha Washingtons for about 20 years now. We can hardly wait for them to start coming up each year. We planted a purple variety a few years ago (can’t remember the name) and they are going to really produce this year. We freeze some of the asparagus each year – it’s great to eat “a little spring” during the winter months! Enjoy!

    Reply to judym's comment

  9. Colleen on April 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    We saved seeds from one of our peppers we grew last year. This is my prized seedling for 2013. It always amazes me to plant any seed and watch and wait and wait…and finally see it burst to life. Those first spouts bring hope of spring, warmer days and the best tasting produce right out of our garden.

    I have only started asparagus from crowns…must try seed!

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  10. Marcia on April 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I love to see my squash seedlings come up since I love zuchinni so much.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  11. Crinia on April 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I enjoy getting the large avocado seeds to germinate.

    Reply to Crinia's comment

  12. Margaret on April 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    With all the talk of asparagus, our bed is about 12 years old and is just riddled with weeds and grass each year. An old-timer recommended covering the bed with rock salt to get rid of the weeds, but I have read that this is not such a good idea. Is there anything we can do besides hand-weeding, which I do every couple of years but am left with the same problem the next summer? I am nearly ready to throw in the towel and start a new bed. (Any ideas on how to keep the unwanteds out of a new bed??)

    Reply to Margaret's comment

    • Susy on April 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      I’d probably just start a new bed with a no dig method to try to get rid of some of the weeds first. I’m trying geese this year for weeding, we’ll see how that works out, if it does, that might be a good option for you. I’m with you on the rock salt, probably not a really good idea, hand weeding is generally best. Have you been mulching? Mulch generally will do a pretty good job of keeping lots of weed seed from germinating.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Wendy on April 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Could you do a post on how to start asparagus from seed? I followed the directions (soaking seeds, etc.,) and got _nothing_.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

    • Susy on April 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Perhaps you just got a bad batch of seed. How long did you wait? I have one packet of seeds that hasn’t had any germination yet. I also had mine sitting by our wood burner so it was nice & warm for them.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Bettina on April 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Speaking of Asparagus, I have some in my garden in big pots. And in spring, I put another pot on top of them (upside down) to have white asparagus (I prefer them to the green). It is so much easier than making mounds and works the same way.

    Are you planning on having some as white asparagus or will you only harvest green?

    Reply to Bettina's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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