Week Three: Heating, Lighting and Arithmetic

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In times of uncertainty in our human world, nature can be quite a comfort. Though society is in flux, nature persists. The daffodils and forsythia burst forth in yellow splendor, right on time, and the male goldfinch sheds his brown winter plumage to join them.

At our house, we took this cue to start outdoor preparations for our veggie garden in earnest this week, applying compost to the soil and setting up irrigation lines and fencing. The work brought relief, exercise, fresh air, and dreams of home-grown dinners melted away some built-up anxiety from our collective predicament. We hope you're finding similar joy in the process of working with nature to grow your own food.

Last week we talked about timing when we start seeds indoors. For outdoor tasks, we touched on the handful of plants ready for direct planting. In the next few weeks, this list will expand dramatically!

This week, on the indoor front we'll cover simple strategies for keeping your newly germinated seedlings happy with proper heating and lighting, as well as what to do if your seeds don't germinate like they're supposed to. Out in the yard, we'll discuss locating your veggie garden beds or containers and how to prepare them for planting and transplanting this week and beyond. We'll also take a closer look at tips for planting this week's featured veggie: peas!

Don't forget to check out the Deep Dive resources included at the end.

So as we wait for New England weather to pick a season, let's look at what we can do indoors:


First, always read and follow the directions on the seed package! Some have specific requirements, like soaking seeds before planting (peas) or leaving the seed on top of the soil exposed to the light to stimulate germination. Nature works in mysterious ways...all we can do is try to learn and play by her rules.

Heating for Better Germination Rates