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And so it begins...

The seed starting has begun!  This is my favorite time of the year, planting little seeds and watching them grow.  My least favorite time of the year when it's August and my garden is officially out of control.  First on my list to start is onions and leeks.  My onions last year totally fell flat.  I think I got a few green onions out of the deal.  I started out a complete novice with seed starting and I'm slowly learning through trial and error.

Last year I had a difficult time finding an good seed starter.  I'm not entirely convinced this is organic, but that's okay it's a better alternative than what I had last year.  I also bought a couple more plug trays that came with the little covers to help lock in moisture.
My pile of seeds just waiting to be planted.  This is only about half of them, the other half is still coming in the mail.
And the three that are up for planting: Prizetaker Leeks, Yellow of Parma onion and Red Wethersfield onion. 
Dump a whole lot of seed starting material in the tray and smooth it out.
I don't think that there are very many people who know what onions seeds look like.  I know I was surprised to see such little tiny black seeds, but there they are!  Leeks are also very similar seeds.
Try to get about 3-4 seeds per plug to make sure you have at least one growing per plug.  Although last year I think all of my onions sprouted.  Cover them up with about 1/4 inch of the starting material.  Marking which plugs contain which veggie is very important.  You may think that you will remember, but I guarantee in two months you won't!
And the most important step...water!  Without water, those little seeds would not activate and start growing.  On a side note, this is one of the best little watering cans that I've bought.  It has a rose tip on it, which helps slowly trickle water out of the end so you don't flush all those little black seeds you just planted. 
This is how I roll.  A fluorescent light hung between two chairs.  It's the perfect distance for the light and very affordable.  Of course I dream of a nice bookcase or table to start seeds on, but I have to be realistic.  One thing I've learned from reading is that they recommend two different types of bulbs.  I can't remember the names exactly, but one is warm and the other is blue.  Something about the different light colors...

And there you have it!  I will definitely be posting lots of pictures when these babies start to pop up.  One important thing to remember is to leave the clear top on the plug tray until you start to see seedlings.  This helps to trap moisture and heat.  I leave my lights on for about 14-16 hours per day, depending on when I remember to turn them on and off.  Last year I had a plug in timer that was great, I just need to find it!

*Bonus points to who can name the movie that the blog title is from...hint...there are a couple hobbits in it...

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