Episode 26: Starting Seedlings for the Newbee

Today’s topic: Starting Seedlings for the Newbee. Also today, a comment on some of the divisiveness we have all been experiencing and some thoughts on why certain words trigger bad behavior – especially online. More importantly, we will talk about something you might do to de-escalate these situations.

Also, we will be re-upping the Toby Hemmenway segment not THIS WEEK, but next week. Be ready next week for that one.

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Divided We Stand, Together We Fall:

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us – and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Dead Nettle, Chickweed, Dandelion, Watercress salads
  • The wild mustard has arrived and someone in Missouri found morels already
  • Kale is ready to harvest
  • Squash reset time
  • Garlic inspection
  • THE LAST ONION – now what? (Wild garlic, Egyptian Walking Onions, THE STORE)
  • Chili Recipe

Getting the Gardens Ready

Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running.

  • Transplanting the tomato seedlings
  • Starting the peppers
  • Lettuce and other early seeds
  • Trimming the peach trees and berry bushes
  • Honey bee traps need to go out soon – and we are watching for swarming in our existing hives

Garden Economics update

Where I share with you if I am making or losing money by growing my organically handled veggies!

  • Spent $35 on a grow light, sold nothing 🙂 so we are back to $80 invested in the project!

Stories from the Holler

Where we share what really happens, for better or worse, on the homestead.

  • Bumblefoot
  • Holler Roast Sign by the Purple Porch
  • The 1981-85 Whirlpool washer
  • The Wood Chip Adventure


Starting Seedlings for the Newbee

Why try?

  1. Cheaper than buying them (But be prepared to buy plants)
  2. Increases self reliance
  3. It’s fun

What can go wrong?

Advice from Karley over at Purple Maize Farm:

1) Light, light, light. Generally a window isn’t going to have strong enough light. By far, this is most common pitfall.

2) Soil temperature. Too low, and you’ll have bad germination rates and weak seedlings.

3) Consistent moisture, not overwatering. Dampening off and failure to thrive despite good lighting is generally due to overwatering.

4) Potting mix. Find one you get good results with and stick to it. You want good moisture holding capacity but also a light enough texture that pricking out and potting up is easy.

The things you need to know:

  1. Soil mix
  2. Trays
  3. Heating source – and what to do if you don’t have any
  4. Lighting – and what to do if you don’t have any
  5. Seeds: Heirloom, vs hybrid
  6. What to grow via seedlings: Tomatoes, peppers, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, lettuce, loofahs

Some first year advice: choose 1 or 2 things and just try them out. And don’t be sad if you end up buying seedlings – try again next year. It will work at some point.

Some specific Links to equipment

2 foot rig: $45
LED Square: $27
Tube bulb that fits florescent fixtures: $21

Heating mat: $21

Seedling trays: $20
Seedling tray Frame at Walmart:
Extra large cells, 6 pack


Thank you so much for joining me today here on Living Free in Tennessee and make it a great week!

Son: The Flood, Sauce