family's involvement with the whole process. Seeds are started in January, then planted out to the greenhouse in March. From late June through October, fruit is eaten, shared and canned up. The greenhouse goes to bed for the next few months. Then, as soon as the New Year rolls around, it's time to start thinking about tomatoes yet again and the cycle repeats itself. I'm not quite sure what I'd do with myself if I stopped starting tomatoes in January. It's just something I do and hope to continue up through when I'm an old great grandmother with cataracts and a bicycle.
Then I mix in some sexy microbes. You can read more about these super heroes here.
Then I smooth over the dirt, making sure to cover each seed with just a little bit of soil and sprinkle all of the trays with filtered water.
This year I'm also experimenting with growing a tray of lettuce for micro-greens. Hopefully it'll work and my husband and I will be able to enjoy a little bit of a fresh baby lettuce in a few weeks. I get desperate for fresh, local greens in the cold winter. I'm not seeking huge results. No leafy giant salads. Just a few tender, sweet leaves to eat as part of a garnish perhaps.
And furthermore, I have the best success with starting tomato seeds if I use seed heating mats. I found all of my heating mats at my local hardware store. They gently warm the planting trays to encourage the little seeds to germinate. Tomatoes will grow on a windowsill without a seed heating mat, but it can take up to a month for them to sprout and emerge from the soil. I expect to see tiny tomato starts in about a week or so since I'm using the heating mats.