This March, I concentrated my efforts on researching and starting up my businesses – and I avoided planting my garden seeds until this past weekend. In fact, though I knew I was blowing the seed starting schedule for many seeds, I had not done any additional homework about these seeds of mine until last week. I’ve not completed the list, by far, however here’s an image to show you the crops that I should have started earlier, based on our May 3rd frost-free date. (See, last year I thought frost-free was three weeks later; no wonder i had such a paltry garden.)

FWIW, it’s still worthwhile planting your own seeds, if you have them, because I found out last week that a lot of greenhouse seedlings are treated with neonicotinoid pesticides at the seed/seedling stage, and I do not want anything that will harm native pollinators in my garden. So I use seed I’ve saved, and some I bought.

Here is a little pictorial of how I’m starting some rhubarb seeds, which I collected when I was in Ontario and saw a plant sending up its flowers (long since gone) and seeds.

Start with an egg carton, and lop off the points. 

Cut out the cups.
I had the great fortune of coming across a roll of Playtex baby bottle liners in a bin at a thrift store, and I knew I would be using them for planting. You will have to find some other small bags, such as from the bulk food store. Put the egg cup at the bottom of the bag. 

 Fill the cup with soil or starter mix and start stacking the tray. At the same time – or earlier, as they suggest two hours for soaking – put your rhubarb seeds in water.

This is the tray, stacked with the 12 egg cups of soil.

I dropped two rhubarb seeds into each, and then used the chopstick to push the seeds into the soil. Then I watered them.
To keep the seeds warm and humid, I gathered their bag tops together with an elastic and a twist tie. 
Then I put them on the windowsill to get some sun and warmth for the greater part of the day.

All seeds I started so far get the bag treatment. I don’t have a flourescent grow light for them – still kicking myself for giving a big one away to the SPCA a few years ago, they certainly threw it out – so all my seeds sit right next to the window.

In less than a week, I’m going to catch up on all those seeds I’m way overdue on. Then I’ll plant more according to schedule, including sowing directly outside as soon as the snow melts (some can handle the threat of frost). This year, that garden is going to burst.