Garden of Eatin' / Seeds & Seedlings

Spring Seedling Update

Seedlings in recycled newspaper pots

It’s been two months since I started my seeds, so I thought I’d update with a little progress report on how the little fellas are doing.

This season I decided to start most of my veggies indoors, since my winter garden was still going strong through spring, and our spring weather had unusual bouts of cold and rain this year.

A tiny seedling sprouting

The first seeds germinated in early March in my window. I had almost 100 percent germination, so it was a very good start to the season.

The overachieving tomatoes were the first to surface with their fuzzy little stems. The chile peppers were the slowest, twiddling their thumbs and sprouting almost three weeks later, but that was to be expected since I didn’t provide them much heat.

A seedling sprouting

Tomato seedlings looking good at 3 weeks old. They even smell good. At this point, I repotted them into 3-inch containers.

Tomato seedlings

And now, my tomato plants growing robustly at 8 weeks old and measuring 8 inches tall. They’re almost ready to be repotted again.

Tomato plants at 2 months old

At last count, I had around 115 pots stuffed with vegetable seedlings, some with multiple seedlings in them. I hardened off all of them at the same time, keeping them in a sunny spot in my yard in a temporary holding area. Friends who visit are impressed but think I’m nuts. I definitely have way more tomato plants than I have space for in the garden. Who knew that every single seed would come up and continue to grow like nobody’s business? And I’m too much of a softie to thin them out.

Can you guess what everyone’s Memorial Day gifts will be?

Seedlings hardening off outside

Despite the 115 pots, there are still more seeds that I’m direct-sowing into the ground in the next few weeks: cucumbers, beans, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and radish, a few varieties of each. I hope my friends are hungry too.

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Janelle
    March 22, 2017 at 11:18 am

    You and I are kindred spirits. Haha. My in-laws are impressed as well but think my garden is too big! I grew up on a farm so our garden is only a fraction of the size of the one I grew up with. Like 1/6th the size. I will be canning and freezing much of our produce and have a cold storage room designed for our basement. It’s all so exciting.
    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. lots of great info and detail.

    • Linda from Garden Betty
      April 6, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Thank you so much! And we can still dream of having more space for all the things we love to grow, right?! 🙂

  • Casey
    March 30, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    What did you use for soil to plant these tomatoes? Looks like tiny rocks in the picture. I have about 200 tomato seedlings right now and many of them are shriveling up even though I’m watering but they are in pea pellets and others are in miracle gro potting soil. Thanks.

  • Jenny
    February 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, very cool! I was just curious about your hardening off process. For example, do you wait until every seedling has at least two sets of true leaves? Do you do any preparations indoors first? I’ve lost a lot of seedlings because I hardened off too early, or possibly gave them too much sun too fast, so I was just wondering about your routine since you’ve obviously got it figured out!

    April 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I love your blog. You are so fun and darling (and know a ton about gardening!) Keep it up girl!

  • Anonymous
    May 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Wow Linda! I bet I know what you do in your spare time…make newspaper pots, haha! Aren’t they great. Also I nust say I love your patio and that rock wall is gorgeous!

    • Linda Ly
      May 13, 2011 at 3:22 am

      LOL! Love those little paper pots… I knocked out a ton of them during a Netflix marathon!

      I’ve been told all those rocks came from the original excavation of the land when our house was built. Pretty neat, as the house is over 80 years old.


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