Monday, January 24, 2011

It's That Time of Year... least it is in South Texas!  Time to start those seeds for the spring vegetable garden.

The seed catalogs started showing up in my mailbox these past couple of weeks and that always makes me very happy.  I love this part of gardening...the planning of it all.  Just like I love planning meals and making menus.  When I had my cafe and catering business, that was the most fun part for me.

Anyway, back to spring gardening.  

Much of the country is still gripped by awful, cold, snowy weather where gardening is but a distant thought.  But we here in South Texas are blessed to be able to garden pretty much 12 months out of the year.  I'm also very fortunate that I have a wonderful greenhouse where I'm able to start seedlings early for transplanting outside when the weather warms up.

Saturday was a relatively cool, but sunny day, so puppies and I headed out to the greenhouse to begin setting up my mini-hot house. 

Late last spring, I bought this domed mini greenhouse by JumpStart to get a jump start (haha :) on my spring vegetable garden.

Since it is still pretty chilly, especially at night, I also bought a seedling heat mat to give my seeds a little more warmth to help them germinate.

Another thing that is very important is supplemental lighting.  It's impossible to get seeds to germinate without supplemental lighting.  I have this very cool , adjustable grow lamp that I bought a number of years ago that is an essential part of my seedling set up.  I put all these pieces together, made room on my greenhouse shelf and Voila...I'm ready for spring!

Puppies and I had a good time hanging out in the greenhouse.  There were all these new smells for them to explore  :)


Gretchen discovered that she could actually get water out of the hose!  That was pretty funny. 

While we were in the greenhouse, I gave all the plants a good drink of water and discovered my Christmas cactus (another offshoot of my grandfather's descendant cactus) is beginning to bloom!

And the kalanchoes are in full bloom!

The bees were everywhere too!  They didn't sit still long enough for me to get too many good pictures, but I did capture this tiny bee on my viola.

Wow...I got seriously side tracked here :)  Again, back to spring planting...

Now is the time to begin cool season plants indoors, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, cauliflower, etc.  These can all be planted in the ground in early spring.  You can also start warm weather crops indoors now too, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, as they will need a bit longer in the greenhouse before they are big enough to transplant outside.  These can usually go in the ground mid to late April. 

I think this year, I'm going to order all my seeds from Seeds of Change.  Last year I ordered most of my seeds from Burpee and was not happy at all.  Many of the seeds didn't germinate.  But the ones I ordered from Seeds of Change did very well.

So now all I have to do is go through the catalogs and pick out what I want to plant this spring and summer.  I'll order the seeds for my summer garden (tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, etc) now as well because as noted, those need a bit longer in the greenhouse to reach transplant size.  I'm so excited!  Stay tuned...I'll let you know what I decide to plant!

Puppies and I had a wonderful time hanging out together on a cool winter day!


  1. Your greenhouse is just so cool! Looking forward to seeing your seedlings! The puppies are getting bigger already - they get so big so fast!

  2. Thanks, Cat :) I *do* love my greenhouse! It was my Christmas present from my wonderful husband 2 years ago and I've *so* enjoyed it. I ordered my seeds yesterday! Can't wait to start planting. Yes, puppies are growing very fast but are so much fun! Always great to hear from you :)

  3. Lovely pictures! I'm quite jealous. I'm looking out my window and see nothing but snow. Spring is almost here!

  4. Ooooh!!! A greenhouse!! A bit jealous, I must admit... :o) Thanks for the heads up about Burpee. I received all the same catalogs you did and was planning on ordering from Seeds of Change as well. They seem more earthy and less commercial than Burpee. Happy planting!

  5. Hi Jenn! We are so fortunate to live in South Texas where we can garden 10-12 months out of the year! Hang in there...spring is on its way!

    Hi Casa! Happy planting to you too! It's a bit early to plant in the DC area, but not to early to get started thinking about it :) Have fun!