Tutorial: how not to kill plant starts

In between house projects, I got ambitious and bought a bunch of seeds, dusted off my seedling trays, pulled out last year’s potting soil, set the light timer, and got back to my main projects. This was early March.


In a week or so, things were going well and they germinated. I did an initial watering, then watered them a few days after I planted the seeds, then just let them cruise.


I thought they were going OK, but then I noticed my kale seedlings were super leggy. Not a great sign. Kale grows very well here, so with the warming mat, the plastic cover and the hot light, it might have been too much.


The herbs were doing *okay*. I wasn’t super impressed with progress. Then I left them on the heat mat and lamp timer, and then got distracted with my house projects, then we went to Portland, next thing you know, I have a tray full of sun dried, leggy seedlings.

I think my husband mentioned my plant troubles to his mother, and for our trip down to Portland to see her, she gave our son a huge Easter basket, my husband *his favorite* Easter jello eggs, and I lucked out with a set-it-and-forget-it seed starter kit.


This new kit has a reservoir underneath the seedlings. There is a cloth barrier in between that laps up water from the reservoir and moistens the dirt.

I take the plastic lid off once the seeds start to germinate, then when they get to be a few inches tall, I will raise the light to not scorch them like I did with the March batch.

seed starting kit
seed starting kit


The directions are super easy to follow. Gardener’s Supply gives you a great diagram to set up the seed system.

Organic GrowEase Kit

I will post progress and opinions on the success or failure of the new seed operation.

Organic GrowEase Kit

Here are some of the other things in my greenhouse to help the seed process.

Jump Start Light





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