Tuesday Garden Party- Seed Starting Tips

In honor of this week’s theme I thought I’d offer up a recap of some of the previous posts I’ve done about starting seeds indoors and what I’m doing different.

In my very first post about how I start seeds indoors using inexpensive trays and equipment, I shared all the steps I take when starting vegetable and flower seeds indoors. That was a few years ago, and while I’m using mostly the same technique, I did purchase and use a seedling heating mat last year for my tomatoes and peppers.

And I have to say, I did notice a difference- the seeds germinated faster, especially the peppers which can take a long time to sprout. Not only that, but I kept the peppers on the heat mat the whole time they were indoors before hardening off and planting out in the fake hoop house I constructed for them. And though I had to wait until the end of September, I did harvest quite a few ripe (as in, not green) peppers. So I will definitely be using the heat mat again this year.

I followed that post up with this one on how to care for those seedlings as well as how to harden them off and plant them when they’re ready.

But I hope the most useful thing I’ve published is the Organic Gardening Checklist which lists month-by-month which seeds to start when as well as planting dates and even fertilizing tips. This checklist is a PDF which you can download by clicking on the link here or in the Organic Gardening tab under the header.

I find it so useful for me that I’m planning to highlight this checklist every month and coordinate it with what is actually happening in my garden. Sometimes I get to everything on the list and sometimes I don’t, but it’s nice to have one list to refer to when I wonder what I should be doing. I hope this is something you will find helpful.

As for January, plan, dream, and order some seeds!

Now it’s your turn- what do you have to share?

  1. You can link anything garden related: What’s growing/blooming, tips, ideas, progress, harvests and recipes using the harvests, preserving tips and recipes, before/afters, and how-tos. Links will be open from Tuesday through Thursday of each week.
  2. Please link directly to your blog post URL NOT your blog name URL.
  3. Please link back to An Oregon Cottage’s Tuesday Garden Party (feel free to use the button in the sidebar) to let others know where to come for some garden inspiration!





  1. Your planting times and ours are very different. We start tomatoes and peppers in December! :)


  2. I so need to get on the ball and get my garden planned so I know what seeds to start.

  3. I wish I could contribute but starting seeds is definitely an “area of growth” for me. I’ve done it two years in a row and can’t even begin to feel sastified at my efforts. What we do and what I envision are two very different things. I’ll look forward to reading people’s contributions this week as I need the help so badly!

  4. Hi! Stopping by from It’s A Blog Party (she mentioned your site). I’m an Oregon blogger, too. It’s good to “meet” you! Great site you have here!!!

  5. I’m so excited that I FINALLY have a garden post!! Although it maybe a bit premature, I just couldn’t help myself! =0) I hope 2011 is a good gardening year in Oregon!!

  6. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says:

    Mary- not as different as, say, Australia. ;-)

    Wendy & Shannan: I hope the TGP helps inspire you for your planning! Starting seeds is not difficult and you can just start with a few (say only tomatoes) to see how it goes!. Actually, the hard part for me is hardening them off- I could write pages on the mistakes I’ve made (ie, plants I’ve killed) just trying to harden them off!

    Yeah, Holly!!

  7. You have some great ideas on your blog. I love finding new ways to save.

  8. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says:

    That is surprising, Gina! Yeah, I found I was trying to look through various resources for fertilizing and pruning tips, so I just added the ones I cared most about, and I do find it helpful. :-)

  9. I thought that since we are on opposite sides of the country that your checklist would be much different than mine – but surprisingly, they are very similar! I think I need to print your off though for the fertilizing information. I never thought to add that.

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