Basil plants at 3 weeks are getting broad leaves and are ready to move to bigger pots

Growing Seedlings Indoors

Growing seedlings indoors has been fun, but moving them outdoors will take some strategizing on my part.

The spring temperatures are unconvincing, but I try to remember that “life finds a way.”

Here’s a look at some growth happening despite the wind, snow, and drenching rain.

beefstaek seedlings in peat pots are close to 8 inches tall in early April
Beefsteaks planted on March 17 are 7+ inches tall today.

The tomatoes are growing like gangbusters indoors, so when will I plant them out?  Good question.  Today, as with every other day this week, we had a dusting of snow on the ground.

You can see roots beginning to grow through the pots, above.  I’ll be transplanting these babies to bigger pots before I plant them outside. In our zone, May 31 is the last frost date.

Last year, I tried to push for an earlier start outdoors. It didn’t work.  The plants were stunted, and succumbed to disease and pests.  I ended up no further ahead.

Nicotiana seedlings fill cell containers with their broad basal rosette leaves
Nicotiana sylvestris

The Nicotiana sylvestris seedlings are getting big!  I used tweezers to thin each individual cell pack.  I still have some thinning to do here.

a row of bright yellow blooms of King Alfred narcissus
Narcissus “King Alfred”

Narcissus “King Alfred” is the first of my narcissus species to bloom.  The other varieties I’ve planted are slower. Like me, they just didn’t want to get out of the bed!

Basil plants at 3 weeks are getting broad leaves and are ready to move to bigger pots
Basil repotted

The basil is looking great. I transplanted the growing seedlings from tiny clay pots to bigger peat pots.

Bearded iris shoots are emerging from their rhizomes in early April
Iris germanica: It’s not pretty, but it’s growing

I did manage to get one bed cleaned out fairly well.  The Iris germanica seem to appreciate the effort.  The soil is so damp, even in the raised beds. And the wind continues to blow around oak leaves, no matter how many times they are raked up.


Occasionally, the sun does get a peek through the cloud cover! That’s when I race outside to catch any glimpse of life that I can find.


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7 comments on “Growing Seedlings Indoors”
  1. Lora Hughes says:

    The crocus photo is really lovely. I feel your tomato pain – if they grow well & start to send their roots through the pots, then you know it’s going to snow & hail & dead of night all over the place. If the weather’s fine, the seedlings’ll just sit there looking confused. Soon, tho. They’ll do their stuff soon, both the weather & the tomatoes.

  2. I am very envious of your seemingly laboratory conditions for propagation. I imagine you in a white lab with and very clean surfaces, surgically transplanting seedlings.

  3. Sophie says:

    Your seedlings are doing brilliantly! I have only sewn cosmos, zinnia and bells of Ireland seeds this week as it’s been so cold. Lovely post!

  4. Ali says:

    Tweezers are such a good idea for nicotiana seedlings! Mine were a flipping nightmare! It is amazing how quickly they bulk up though.

  5. Linda Casper says:

    My Autumn planted seeds aren’t up to much. They were healthy and ready to prick out in January but I thought I would wait for warmer weather and I’m still waiting. Your basil looks good. I start off with a pot from the supermarket, pinch some tops off and put in water. They root after a week and then I pot on.

  6. A. JoAnn says:

    I do hope to get some tomatoes! The beefsteak come in so late, getting a head start in pots should help.

  7. Paddy says:

    I never keep tabs on the last dates for frost, but I try to cover most of the translaplanted seedlings with fleece if it looks like it might get cold.
    Those tomato plants look like they’ll be fruitful (pun intended)!

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