This is the first time I have grown vegetables from seed indoors. Normally I am a direct-sow kinda girl, but I wanted the greater variety in vegetable options so I could focus on heirlooms this year. So I went out and bought a grow light, made my seed pots from newspaper, and got the growing underway.

It’s getting on late-April now and I starting to feel really discouraged. The tomato and eggplants seeds have been growing for a month and a half now, and they just don’t seem to be getting that big – I don’t even think they have their first set of “true” leaves. Then today I stumbled upon something that said the grow light should be kept on the plants between 12-16 hours a day. Now I feel like a really big dummie. I have been turning the grow light off in the evenings and back in the mornings, so they have probably only been getting about 10 hours of light. I guess I was thinking more about conserving energy than giving my seeds the most light… Damnit.

We will see what kind of second wind the seedlings will get, but I feel terribly behind. There is nothing like painstaking planning, filled with Excel spreadsheets, all for naught. Sigh. Worst case scenario my seeds don’t get big enough soon enough and I break down and buy some plant starts. But seriously, how annoying is that? I bought this grow light, I bought a huge order of seeds, all this time and care. Those suckers better grow.

On an up side, the vegetables planted under the cloches outside are doing really well. I won’t have buy lettuce again until late next fall. The carrots and beets are already up and doing very well. In another couple weeks I will need to thin the carrot rows. Swiss chard, collards, spinach and broccoli are all showing signs of promise.

I guess it’s sort of like casting a wide net. The indoor seeds might not pay off, but the vegetable bed covers will. And next year I will know a little more than I do now.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson