Houston Vegetable Garden – Growing vegetable gardens in Houston

Indoor Seed Starting

Some good gardening advice for Houston vegetable gardening to beat the cold for the spring garden and the heat for the fall garden is to start seeds under a grow light indoors.  I start tomatoes, lettuce, greens, broccoli and fennel this way.  Because vegetables need a lot of light, 2 sets of bulbs of 2 each is ideal.  When we had our bathroom remodelled I put in a built in light.

 I start the seeds in a system sold by Gardener’s Supply (www.gardeners.com).  Homemade systems would also work, but theirs has the advantage of continuous bottom watering.  This system keeps the soil uniformly moist and is especially good for seeds like lettuce that require light for germination.  Indoors I get practically every seed to germinate.  Outdoors the percentage is low unless conditions are ideal.  A schematic of Gardener’s Supply APS system is shown to the left (from their web site).  The greenhouse cover should be left on only for a few days to allow saturation.  When the seeds germinate, it does not allow enough light through.  Gardeners also sells a seed start mix that is good; somewhat expensive, but not much is needed.

Another technique useful for larger seeds like beans and corn is sprouting indoors.  More on that in a later posting.