I’m not waiting until Spring: This is what I’m Planting Now

with seed catalogs in the mail, can spring be far off?

Another week of winter and another tease by Mother Nature. This past Friday sent temperatures soared into the high 50’s, reducing the snow to piles of slush.  The birds were chirping, and I took a long walk – my first outdoor walk in almost a month.

My garden re-emerged from under the snow and revealed daffodil shoots peeking up, as if to extend a long finger to winter saying, “curse you winter! Spring is coming whether you want to leave or not!”   

But winter isn’t letting go. The weather will fight with itself for another month before it turns spring for good.

 It’s this time of year when gardeners like me really need to get our fingers dirty in some soil. I need to plant something. I need to see that moment when a new plant breaks through the soil.  After months of unrelenting white, I need to see something green (besides the moldy lemon hiding in the back of my refrigerator).

Hence the garden shows that come to cities around the country this time of year. This includes the Rochester Home and Garden Show March 26 – 27.

I start seeds of flowers vegetables and herbs in my living room. Newly planted seedlings keep warm thanks to the floor vents in my house, which was built in the 1920’s.  As they sprout, I bring the seedlings down to the grow lights in my basement.  These grow lights are visible from my basement window. So, if you are a law enforcement officer trolling the Internet, let me assure you that I grow NOTHING that is not legal. 

So, here is how I start:

I begin with seed pellets.  You can buy these at the big box home improvement stores or seasonal sections in a good grocery store. These pellets will puff up with some warm water. Kids like this step because these flat pellets grow right before their eyes.

Then, I filled the pellets with seedlings of


Even the tiniest basil leaf, if you run your fingers over it, carries that strong, sweet aroma and reminds me that in a few months, these leaves will become the ingredients of a Caprese Salad or Pesto when they grow up.


The tiniest arugula leaf also carries that same zippy, peppery taste of its grown counterpart.

And, for a little color, this year I’m going to plant

Raspberry Lemonade Zinnias.  

Not to mention ‘carnival’ bell peppers. And I feel most obligated to grow a tomato variety developed at Rutgers University.

I’ll be taking pictures of my seedlings as they grow.

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About stacylynngittleman

I have been a reporter and public relations professional for over 30 years, specializing in profile features and investigative longform writing. During my career I've profiled WWII Honor Flight Veterans, artists and musicians and have written on topics that range from environmental and gun control issues to Jewish culture. Click around on my writing samples plus read my blog on my personal life raising three kids over 27 years and three cities.

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