Early Seed Sprouting

Now is the time in North Texas to sprout seeds indoors for the spring garden.

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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by Flickr/mycobond

We are preparing for our spring/summer garden here in North Texas. Every winter our dining room is turned into an indoor garden. We only sprout certain crops indoors and it is usually a variety of peppers and tomatoes.

We use a special soil to give our crops a boost. For nutrients, we use a mixture of compost, peat moss, potting soil and native soil. We mainly use the peat moss for moisture retention. The final thing we add is native soil, which is sand. This helps with drainage. The formula is one part compost, one part peat moss, two parts potting soil and one part sand from our garden since we have sandy soil.

The peppers we are growing are Redskin, Cayenne and Anaheim. The Anaheim is a custom hybrid that my husband has been hybridizing for several years. My husband is growing a variety of tomatoes that I have not ever heard of before. We have Punta Banda, Flamenco, Nichols Heirloom and wild tomatoes.

These tomatoes do well with our hot summer weather. We usually have tomatoes growing well into the time of our first freeze in the fall. They can handle the 100-degree days with no problem. We order many of our seeds from Native Seeds.

We use spot lamps on the seeds. We will start to acclimate them to the outdoors a little at a time. When the weather is good, we put them outside for a couple of hours a day and then increase the time gradually.

When we get past the freezes and spring comes along, we transplant the seeds into the ground. We use a cover crop around them and that has helped to retain moisture. It helps reduce the need for watering and reduces the temperature of the soil. We have used various grasses and buckwheat successfully as cover crops.

I always look forward to the spring and even though I don’t love summer, I love our garden tomatoes and peppers.

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