Spring is in the air. Literally. Pollen is everywhere. But spring means seedlings! Even though we plant and grow year round, we still love the thrill of new sprouts and adding more variety to our fields. This past week farmer Nathan and wife Rebecca planted several trays of heirloom lettuces prepping for the summer farmers markets.
While some seeds thrive being sown directly, we've had better results jump starting our lettuce indoors before transplanting outside. It helps prevent heat stress, bolting, and helps to ensure a more compact plant for our intensive permaculture growing environment.
We fill our trays with germination from our local feed and seed store as it is absorbent and fluff for germination and initial growth. After poking holes in each cell with the eraser side of a pencil, we're off to planting! We aim for 3 seeds per hole, but lettuce seed is small so it's hard to be precise.
After the dirty work outdoors, we bring the trays inside to mist with water before covering them on the shelf. No light is needed for germination, but the covers help to hold in humidity to help the seeds sprout.