Seed Starting in Zone 7b

Jordan and I finally did another gardening activity together: we started some seeds! It was time to start growing the first of our babies–bell peppers, tomatoes, and jalapenos. (I almost forgot about the jalapenos because they weren’t included in my Sprout Robot schedule! What kind of Robot are you??)

First, we read the back of the seed packets just to be sure there wasn’t anything special, like seed scarification or soaking, that needed to happen. Jordan also read the starting soil bag and later told me to “water gently.” (Success! He’s learning on his own!)

Next, Jordan filled our sterilized Trader Joe’s yogurt cups with the starting soil and I placed three seeds into each container. We decided to start an Orange Bell Pepper plant this week and start a Red & Yellow Bell Pepper in the next two to four weeks so our potential yield will be staggered. We like bell peppers, but not so much that we want three varieties producing at the same time.

We also planted two cups of jalapeno and tomato seeds. Since we’ll only transplant the healthiest of the seedlings, we thought we might want to try two jalapeno plants and two tomatoes, just in case. I’m actually starting to wonder if we should start another tomato; growing up with an Italian home chef for a mama taught me one can never have enough tomatoes.

After we pushed the seeds into the appropriate depth in the starting soil, we “watered gently” and placed the cups in a plastic container and placed the container in the sunniest spot in our house. Supposedly we should have a fancy grow light for our seeds but we don’t. I’m sure people started seeds indoors before grow lights were invented. We’re just kickin’ it old school.

Are we naive to think we can start seeds indoors without a ton of constant light? Will our 20 minutes of seed planting be in vain? Oh, the fears of seed starting!

6 thoughts on “Seed Starting in Zone 7b

  1. Hi friend! Let me know how the bell peppers go – mine bombed last year and none even sprouted. What varietal of tomato(s) are you starting? I’ve had a lot of success with Roma VF but I’m going to be trying Big Mama this year which is also a paste tomato but supposedly has fewer seeds. And I’ve never used a grow light! Miss you.
    – Devynn

    • Devynn! My bell pepper is just now poking out it’s little leaves after about 11 days I think. I’m using the Better Bush tomatoes and I have to admit, a bit ashamedly, that the plant is a “disease resistant hybrid that is a perfect choice for tomato-loving gardeners with limited space.” I’m trying to get all the help I can! I put the seeds under a fluorescent kitchen light over the weekend and now everything is going crazy…so I’m keeping them under a regular lamp at night. I guess I’m cheating…oh well. Miss you too friend! Come visit!

  2. I’m starting my bell peppers and tomatoes indoors from seeds today! This is my first stab at gardening of any kind, but since moving to Colorado’s Grand Valley (Grand Junction) last August where wineries, farmer’s markets, and homegrown gardens are everywhere, I just HAD to try. I too was a little peeved about the Sprout Robot not having jalapenos as an option. Luckily, I stumbled upon your page, and I feel confident about starting them indoors with the tomatoes and bell peppers. Oh, and dahlias!! I’ll be starting dahlias from seeds today so I can plant them in a shady/sunny spot in the front yard when the weather turns nice. High hopes! We’re zone 6a, so your planting plan should be a little different, but I look forward to following your garden this summer 🙂

    • We’re both beginners! There is so much information out there that it’s overwhelming at times, but the actual planting has been surprisingly simple so far. Good luck with your dahlias, I can’t even begin to think about flowers, though I would love to have something pretty growing in our shady/sunny front yard…hmm. Thanks for stopping by, please share your progress and let me know how your seedlings turn out!

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