Indoor Plantings Update – Plants Started in the Basement

This post is an Indoor Plantings Update from the backyard nursery at Great Escape Farms.  All of the plants I’m talking about today were planted in the basement under grow lights in February.  I’m also planting several trays of seeds today, March 14th.


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What’s Doing Well

The cilantro, Korean Hyssop, fish pepper, bloody dock, miner’s lettuce, and purslane all popped up and are doing wonderful.  Cilantro is the biggest surprise, because these are seeds I harvested from the garden four years ago.

Indoor Plantings Update - Seedlings

Indoor Plantings Update – Seedlings

Sprouted but Not Thriving

Lovage and Quadrato pepper seeds had a few plants sprout, but germination was a little low.  A few more of these type seeds may still germinate over the next few weeks.  I have found that some seeds sprout a little slower than others of the same variety.

More Time Needed

We have planted stevia, valerian, ashwaganda and Maryland Senna that have not come up yet.  I will give these plants a few more weeks to pop up.  Sometimes certain plants take several months to germinate.

None of the paw paw seeds have sprouted yet.  I’ve seen from quite a few sources online that they can take eight to ten weeks to sprout.  They work very hard on getting a good root base before they sprout their heads up through the soil.

Indoor Plantings Update - Paw Paw

Indoor Plantings Update – Paw Paw

Stratified Seeds

Some of the stratified seeds were pulled out of the refrigerator for planting.  Stratification is a process where the seeds are put in a wet medium and keep them cool for a period of time.  This process is trying to simulate what they would go through in nature and is trying to get the seeds to break dormancy.

We pulled about a half dozen bags of stratified seeds out of the refrigerator.  Only one of the bags of seeds have already started sprouting.  Many seeds do not sprout until they get some warmth, so this is nothing to worry about.

Indoor Plantings Update - Stratify

Indoor Plantings Update – Stratify

Plant Thinning

There are several ways to thin young plantings to include pricking out and cutting.  Pricking out is the process of grabbing the top of the plant and just pulling them out.  You can replant them if you get enough of the roots with the plant.  I have enough plants, so I’ll just be cutting the tops off of my plants.

The idea is to get down to about two plants per cell so they do not get over crowded.  Then in a month or so I’ll take it down to one plant per cell.  Leaving two plants lets me see which one will do better and hedge my bets against one of the plants not making it.


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More Plantings

We ended up planting two additional trays of seeds.  We then watered them from the bottom and put the top on.  The top is a clear plastic lid that holds the humidity in.  I will only leave the lid on for a week to get the plants started, then it will be removed and set aside for next year.

Indoor Plantings Update - Seeds

Indoor Plantings Update – Seeds

Wait and Watch

Now it’s time to wait and watch until the next set of seeds sprout.  I’ll pop down to the basement daily and keep an eye on things.  The plants don’t need daily watching, but it is kind of therapy for me, getting me ready for spring.

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  1. Pamela Stumpf March 22, 2017 at 3:02 am · · Reply

    I could use some comfrey.. I have a few pecan trees going i and will probably order some elderberry for the companion group. Needing elderberries also, so was checking your store and did see some good looking elderberry. Even tho I am getting cancer treatments, I have a handyman, Joe 🤓 He is learning to plant the permaculture way. And I like the idea of order you fairly local plants. So, looking for comfrey. It should be fairly easy to get, just wanted to check with you first, as I follow you, best that I can. Hoping to get finished with the treatments soon, and then working on regaining energy for the food forest and garden. Will you be selling other plants, like herbs? Thanks for all your work Todd. I enjoy your posts too.

  2. I’m curious as to whether you do any extra kind of temperature or humidity control for the basement as a whole or is it just the lids just around the seedlings?

    Super interested to see the variety of plants you spring up, as already you’ve introduced me to new ones (that bloody dock reminds me of my begonias, but taller and edible)! Looking forward to those sleepy ones sprouting up!

    • I only have the lids on for 1 week. After that, they are open to the air with no humidity control. The temperature control is that they are in my house in the furnace room, which is usually always at 70-degrees F.

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