Planting Seeds & Watching them Grow

               "Still, in mild climates or seasons, the idea of
          seedlings and cuttings will begin to stir our souls, when February
             "fills dike," if it is "with black and not with white."
           So I will just say that for a Little Garden, and a
       mixed garden, demanding patches, not scores of things, you can raise a
         wonderfully sufficient number of half-hardy things in an ordinary
        room, with one or two bell-glasses to give the moist atmosphere in
       which sitting-rooms are wanting. A common tumbler will cover a dozen
       "seedlings," and there you have two nice little clumps of half-a-dozen
                         plants each, when they are put out."

-Letters from A Little Garden


The little old fashioned radio sang out with some lovely afternoon opera … gentle calm music to flood the sunny, warm kitchen … I had just made a batch of quick pizza dough (I use my regular bread recipe and only let it rise once – adding dried basil and oregano to the dough) for dinner … and the excited group of chatty children had just finished filling trays with soil and picking out their favorite seeds to plant. Together, we sat around the small table on the patio and looked through the baskets of seeds.

Yes …

It’s seed planting time!

One of my favorite seasons.

Here in Ontario, our growing season is quite short, so we plant most of our seeds indoors for now. I have a few temporary type greenhouses that nurture my little seedlings for a few weeks before they can go out into the big wide world.

“There is something very exciting about holding tiny brown seeds in one’s hand, in rubbing soil in one’s fingers in the rows, in covering them up and patting them. There is something exciting in watering the bare brown ground, wondering whether the hidden seeds are doing anything at all, wondering whether they will burst out of the little shell and become roots going down and stem and leaves coming up. The day the first tips of green are seen, if they are *your* seeds, planted by your own fingers, there is a thrill that is surely similar to producing an art work, a thrill of accomplishment mixed with the reality of what is, what exists, what the universe consists of.”

-Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

“Can I help, mommy,” Leia asked, coming up beside me. Her beautiful face is washed in sunshine, freckled already – even with the tiny amount of spring sunshine that has been sprinkled our way.

“Sure, just pick what you want to plant,” I answered, as she thumbed through the basket of seeds sitting beside my chair, settled in the warmest spot of our backyard.

Holding up her seed envelope, she showed me her choice: a big ol’ pink juicy watermelon was pictured on the front.


“This!”, she said, running to get her planter filled with soil. Perfect … watermelon … for those hot summer days to come. [We have never yet been successful at growing watermelons from seed, but one can hope, right? We shall see what happens this year. Children are so full of hope and innocent anticipation. Any tips?]

This year, my oldest daughter has planted trays and trays of a beautiful variety of Morning Glory flowers, which is her favorite flower. Together, we have a vision of beautiful pink, blue, purple, pastel and vibrant Morning Glory flowers climbing all over our place … wouldn’t that just be heavenly?

Indeed, I think it will! I’m happy to see her planting seeds, interesting in growing things … in fact, it is delightful to see all the children interested in planting seeds and watching them grow. My daughter has a greenhouse set up in her bedroom where she will take care of her seedlings until it is warm enough to transplant outdoors.

Our kitchen and upstairs bedroom also contain a mini greenhouse now – things will remain cramped for a while, as the greenhouses take up a bit of room. Everyone helps water them and take care of the seedlings. Hopefully … when planting time comes, we will have a little greenhouse variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables plant.


I have planted trays and trays of zinnias, black eyed susan, calendula, lupin, echinacia, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, chives, dill, Baby’s Breath, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and zucchini.  Some of these varieties I have in my herb garden already but every winter, I wait with baited breath to see if they will appear again after months of being buried under the snow. It is safer to plant a little extra in case my planted garden herbs suffered some damage.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1


There is just something incredible about growing little plants and then … Lord willing, feeding your family with the harvest … making medicine from the herbs that will help keep your family healthy .. or simply enjoying God’s incredible artistry in the beautiful variety of flowers.

If you have are new to planting seeds, may I suggest trying to grow what your family will eat – you will find great satisfaction in producing your own food! Tomatoes, peppers, and kitchen herbs are a great way to start. Try filling a seed tray with your favorite flower seeds and watch what happens. In a few weeks, you may be pleasantly surprised. I always plant a little extra – more than I actually need – in case some seeds do not make it or perhaps meet up with an unfortunate incident (being dropped, stepped on once in the ground and so forth).


Post Script:

If time allows it, later this week, I hope to do a small post on how to plant a tea garden …

April 7, 2019 - 2:59 pm

Lynnea There are lots of deer that come to visit where we live so we have to be very careful with what we grow. Snapdragon flowers, which I love, have grown wonderfully here and the deer avoid them! At the end of each summer, when flowering time is over, I save the seeds, which they produce in abundance.
I would love to read a post on how to plant a tea garden, Gigi! 🙂

April 4, 2019 - 5:34 pm

Amanda My husband and boys designed and made the hoop houses and I just love them. It’s turned a three to four month growing season into five or six depending on what we have under them. I still have a lot to learn in succession planting to really benefit from their fullest potential. Some people can harvest salad greens and other cold weather crops up to December. I’ve been learning a bit from Seed to Fork on instagram. She lives in Minnesota so, similar climate. But it’s quite astounding what she manages to grow where she lives.

April 3, 2019 - 4:48 am

Gigi I wonder if our zones would be similar, Amanda. We have a short growing season but that’s all I have ever known – we just start indoors and by September-October, everything is ready in the garden. It’s wonderful. I am going to try a dark garbage bag on the watermelon- we’ll see if that works! Did you buy your hoop houses or make them? I have always wanted to use one for a row or two but have not done so yet.

April 1, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Amanda We live in a zone 3 in North Dakota so our growing season is quite short. Just last year we finally succeeded in growing ripe watermelon. We actually direct seeded them in early May (which is four weeks earlier than we would normally plant melons) under long hoop houses covered in clear plastic. The were covered a couple weeks ahead to heat the soil. We kept the covers on (removing only to water) unless it started to overheat under the cover, and removed them completely when the weather was sufficiently warm outside. Worked great for muskmelon as well.

March 30, 2019 - 6:06 am

Gigi Ohhhh, you have a greenhouse! You are so blessed! Our planting season is not until end of May. We start most things indoors except beans, squash, potatoes, etc.
I hope your watermelons grows this year for you. I bet it just loves the greenhouse!

March 29, 2019 - 3:49 pm

Teresa@ Simply Farmhouse *had three or four

March 29, 2019 - 3:47 pm

Teresa@ Simply Farmhouse Last year I planted a watermelon seed out in front of the greenhouse near the door…to my surprise it vine its way into my very hot greenhouse and it took it over. I has three or four melons from one plant. I am going to try it again this year…only I am planting it sooner then I did last year. My green house is filled with trays of seeds snuggled in their warm soil….I have a few plants coming up! When is your planting season there? Ours is after the last frost (last of April- first of May).

March 28, 2019 - 7:55 pm

Gigi The key is just to start- even if it’s just tomatoes in pots on your patio. You will have fun! Enjoy the journey!

March 28, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Gigi Monica, thank you for the tip on growing watermelons. I bet it is too cold here and you’re right, black garbage bag may do the trick! We grow them here in general, but perhaps they are grown in greenhouses. Thanks for the advice!

March 28, 2019 - 10:41 am

Kristal This is great! We have never had a garden, but all of your canning posts from last have inspired me. Currently, my girls and I are reading about vegetable gardening and making a plan. We will start small this year, but looking forward to watching this grow into hopefully something bigger. 🙂

March 27, 2019 - 8:07 pm

Monica Seed-starting—how fun! We have some started as well. We could be putting them directly in the ground as our last frost date is around March 15, but I like to grow the seeds in containers while I get the beds ready. We will probably disk up the garden this weekend and get a few potato seeds started and some other seeds that grow well as direct sow (corn, beans, squash). Erin has some morning glory seeds soaking. I’ve had the seeds for a while so I’m not sure how potent they are…

On the watermelons….yes we are the people to ask (south)! 🙂 My dad grows so many that he will set up a roadside stand with his surplus. They have to have a lot of good hot days and plenty of sun….Lots of rain (water) and fertilizer. They are kind of like corn with the need for fertilizer. I always fertilize at planting and then when the flowers come on. They need hilling around them several times. Keep trying! They do love heat tho…maybe you could grow some with a black garbage bag or tarp under the plant as it trails…it would attract heat?

Look forward to the tea garden post!!


March 27, 2019 - 4:27 pm

Gigi Oh, so glad we share a love of Morning Glories! Plant some and we will show each other photos, Lord willing, if they all bloom! Last year, we planted some but it was in the wrong spot and it did not grow well. We have high hopes this year! They are so pretty.
Our frost date is the same as your room-mate. We have to be very careful and watch our weather reports once the garden is planted.

March 27, 2019 - 4:13 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA Oh, Morning Glories! When I lived in Southern California, one of our neighbors had several trellises full of them. When I took my morning walk, I would just stop and stare at how beautiful they were. I was just thinking this morning that I really want my own. I have a perfect spot for it. I also have a real hankering for a Bells of Ireland. I should look for those, as well!

Our last frost date here is April 15, but my old college roommate is in Montana and hers is the last week in May so she’s doing the seedlings like you are. For such a short season, she does really well most years. But the Montana mountains can be tricky and she’s had a June snowstorm come in and freeze her tiny plants.

I hope you’ll post pictures when it’s all up & producing. I wish I had some watermelon advice, but I honestly don’t know anyone that has grown one. My neighbor used to grow amazing cantaloupes, but that’s the only melon I’ve seen anyone be successful with. Pray over it a little more!