Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Sprout Seeds: Eggplant, Basil, and Chamomile

Meet Cordelia:


Yes indeed, my seeds are sprouting, and that little tenacious eggplant seedling earned the name Cordelia, after Anne Shirley's imaginary bosom friend, because she seems like a she, and the dramatic sort of she as well, since she burst forth first of all the eggplants. I started them 11 days ago and already I have 13 basil sprouts, who knows how many chamomile, and seven eggplants. I'm especially proud since I've never actually done my own seedling starting before.

Awww, look at me little lovelies.

Since there is no room in the house to put a light and two flats of seedlings, I decided to put them down in the tornado cellar, since it has an electrical outlet. I bought one of those handy-dandy plant light bulbs they have at Lowe's, which screws into a regular light socket, and put it in one of those trouble lights which can also be found at Lowe's. And then I suspended it from the ceiling of the cellar and put my seedlings underneath, and twice a day I mist them with water. Misting with a spray bottle is the best method for seedlings because it doesn't disturbe the soil and is less tedious than using a spoon. Oh, and I used those little coconut pellets they sell for starting seeds. In a couple weeks they'll need to be fertilized, but for now they just need to grow grow grow!

Sigurd, bottom right, the largest of the basil sprouts. I shall make much pesto with you, my darling.

I'm pretty sure the chamomile sprouts are all identical siblings, so they don't get names.

I ordered all my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, and I am very pleased with the germination rate. However, the chamomile seeds are the Burpee kind you can find in the gardening section of any store, and while I wasn't too optimistic about them sprouting well, I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent germination rate. I'm used to people getting a couple of seedlings per packet.

So, there you have it. I've got plants under a grow light in my cellar. That doesn't sound suspicious. But I shall have ever so much eggplant and basil this summer!


  1. Lol.. I've got plants growing under a light .. In my cellar.

    At first I thought you had a jail cell filled with seedlings!

    I need to get on planting.. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Haha! I guess it does sound like it. My husband said he thought I was supposed to let them sleep. I thought that was funny.