Really Early Start For Seeds

The weather outdoors is cold and gloomy. Here on the coast it is altogether wet — the ground is sodden and squishy. Elsewhere, the first blankets of snow are falling, and the ground is freezing hard. Only the most spirited of winter gardeners are still making trips to the greenhouse, low tunnels, or raised beds at this time of year.

Winter doesn’t officially even start until the third week in December, and then it goes on for three solid months. It’s not very intuitive to think about starting seeds this early for the coming spring and summer. Yet some plants are so slow to start that December and January are actually prime times to launch seedlings for the new year. The sun is very low on the horizon, so starting winter seedlings requires certain equipment, most importantly artificial light.

The recommendations here are intended to produce seedlings that can be transplanted after a March 28 Last Average Frost date. That date is specific to south coastal BC, the Gulf Islands & San Juan Islands, and the US Pacific Northwest. The plants discussed here need plenty of time after transplant before they mature and set flowers or fruit. If your last frost date is at the end of April instead of the end of March, simply adjust forward by one month. On the other hand, if you live up north where the growing season is short and intense, starting early seedlings indoors will be key to success.

Remember — most crops grow fast enough that they can be direct sown much later as spring unfolds. Many of the crops listed here are perennials or biennials. A very early start may induce flowering in the first year of growth. Also — these seeds can all be started later in the year. There is no rule saying they must be planted in the winter. Let’s look at each one in turn.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

This perennial cousin of the Aster benefits from an early indoor start from January to early February. This strategy is to induce blooming in the first year. Artichokes can be started much later in the year, but no crop will come until year two and beyond. Keep artichoke seedlings under very bright light so they remain stout and compact. The time to transplant is shortly after the last frost date, so that the seedlings experience a period of about 250 hours below 10°C (50°F). This cool period simulates winter for the plants, and triggers flower formation in the first season. Give the seedlings protection if hard frost is in the forecast during this critical stage.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

The strategy with this perennial is to encourage strong growth in the root crown during the first years of growth. This allows the plants to become strong and well-established for years of productivity. Unlike artichokes, an early start is not going to produce asparagus in the first year — alas, not even in the second year of growth! For the first two years, the stems and foliage are allowed to simply grow and gather energy that is stored in the plant’s root system over winter. By year three, if everything is going to plan, asparagus plants should be vigorous enough to send up lots of stems for cropping. Anyone with first hand asparagus-experience knows that this tantalizing wait is worth every moment. Fresh, home-dug asparagus is a truly wonderful thing. As with artichokes, keep early-planted seedlings very brightly lit to avoid spindly growth and leggy stems.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

These flowers (all members of the genus Aquilegia) are prime examples of perennials that, if planted later in the year, might not produce flowers in the first year of growth. Once again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the flowers will eventually appear in year two and onward. But for first year blooms, a really early start is key. Direct sow columbine seeds any time from autumn to mid-winter. The seeds can be started indoors, but it’s more complicated: Sow seeds in flats of moistened, sterilized seed starting mix, and place these inside plastic bags in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. Then sink the flats outdoors in the ground in a shady spot, and cover with glass or plastic. As seedlings appear, transplant them or pot them on. Germination takes 30-90 days. The flowers of columbine are followed by exotic looking seed pods which slowly split open as they dry in the summer. The pods are held upright, so the seeds inside are particularly easy to save for future planting.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

Biennial plants like foxgloves (and indeed, beets and carrots) typically put on leafy foliar growth in the first year, and store their energy in some kind of swollen taproot. After the first winter, the plant uses that stored energy to flower and produce seeds. Most biennials have rather extraordinary flowers and copious seeds that would be difficult to produce from only one year of growth. For flowers the first year, sow foxgloves indoors very early, in December or January. Transplant two to three weeks before last frost. The seeds may take 14-21 days to germinate. If starting indoors, provide bright light and a soil temperature of 15-18°C (60-65°F).


Seeds For A Really Early Start

This perennial plant is a bit like columbine in that it may not bloom in the first year from a spring planting. However, lavender is a very long-lived perennial that develops a woody stem over time, and seems to bloom in greater profusion from one year to the next. It maintains much of its foliage over the winter in mild regions, unlike columbine, which basically dies back to ground level. Lavender seeds germinate most evenly if seeds can be collected in the autumn and sown on the surface of a seed tray with bottom heat maintaining 4-10°C (40-50°F). The seedlings are then overwintered in a cool greenhouse or cold frame with good ventilation. Seedlings can then be potted on as needed.
Another method is to start the seeds indoors in February, planting seeds sparsely in a few pots with sterilized seed starting mix. Dampen the mix, press the seeds into the surface, insert the pots into plastic bags, and put them in the freezer for two to seven days. Let them come to room temperature on their own, and then use bottom heat as indicated above.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

This cousin of the onion is very easy to grow, but leeks are famously slow. They have the appearance of a single chive for what seems like months. After transplanting them outdoors, they advance a little, appearing like unenthusiastic scallions (spring onions). But by harvest time, the stems have thickened significantly, and many leaves have formed. Some leeks are bred for summer and fall harvest, and a few varieties are bred for winter harvest. Start summer and fall harvest leeks from early February to March in flats indoors. Wait to start winter harvest leeks from March to mid-June in a humus-rich nursery bed outside, and then transplant. The optimal soil temperature for leek seed germination is 10-25°C (50-75°F). The seeds should sprout in 10-16 days.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

Here is a richly flavourful member of the grass family that is usually considered a herb because of how it is used. Lemongrass thrives in the tropics, but it benefits from a really early start in our temperate region. The best strategy is to give plants a healthy head start indoors under bright lights. As soon as it’s warm enough in spring (nighttime temperatures must be consistently above 10°C (50°F)), the seedlings are transplanted into a warm growing area outdoors. As summer advances, the stems will thicken and the plants will eventually form hairy clumps to be harvested at the peak of the hot season. Technically lemongrass is a perennial, and a stubborn gardener might be able to lift plants for greenhouse growing over winter. The plants may slow to the point of dormancy, but this would make them even more productive in the warm seasons to follow. Otherwise, just treat it as an annual, and start with fresh seeds each winter.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

Most onions are not fussy about timing, but they are all slow growers. Many breeds of sweet onions have been developed that form massive bulbs of 10 lbs or more, but these take special care. These competition-sized bulbs would need to be started no later than the first week in February. Use bottom heat to speed germination and then grow the seedlings on under bright artificial light to minimize legginess. After around six weeks, transplant individual onion seedlings into 8cm (3″) pots filled with rich compost. Keep them in a warm, very bright location until around April before transplanting them to a cold frame. Give each onion lots of room to grow, and support its leaves with wire tomato cages or some similar structure. Giant sweet onions like Ailsa Craig and Kelsae can be grown on in individual five gallon containers or in warm soil with protection from harsh wind.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

A few types of chili peppers belong to the species Capsicum chinense. These include the fiery hot and famous Scotch Bonnet and Habanero types, both of which begin to show mature pods near the very end of summer. In poor years, the plants may not produce a single hot pepper. So the grower’s strategy is to start the seedlings very early. Some growers plant the seeds around Christmas, but January should be early enough. These wonderful chilies require a full 120 to mature — and that is from the transplant date. Depending on the weather, they should be transplanted in June, under cover or into a greenhouse where the extra heat will prove extremely helpful. Like lemongrass, these are tropical plants, so the strategy is to transplant them as young adults, as opposed to toddlers. In a good year, with lots of heat, they can be very productive plants.


Seeds For A Really Early Start

As with some of the other seeds discussed here, most strawberry seeds will have improved germination after vernalization. That’s the process of planting them, covering the pots, and keeping them refrigerated for several weeks in order to simulate winter. Horticultural theory suggests that this aids in breaking the seeds’ dormancy and may produce a higher germination rate and more uniform sprout development. Many growers have great success simply planting the seeds in moist seed starting mix under bright lights, but success may vary from seed lot to seed lot. Either way, for fruits to develop in the first year of growth, it’s a good idea to start strawberry seeds from a really early start in January of February. The plants will grow from seeding at any time of year, but may not produce fruit until years two and three.

Woody Herbs

Seeds For A Really Early Start

The category of perennial that eventually develop woody stems includes oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. These are all slow growing as seedlings. These are so slow that most greenhouse propagation is done by taking cuttings of adult plants and rooting them as clones. It’s more economical to produce these herbs from seed, but the grower has to factor in quite a slow start. If bright artificial light is available, start these seeds at the beginning of February, or even earlier. It may be possible to gently harvest some of the leaves around the time they are transplanted out in mid-April to early May. But the early start will produce a stronger root system and sturdier stems by the time cold weather rolls around in the fall, and that gives the plants a much better chance of making it through winter.

Really Early Start For Seeds

The Benefits Of Avocado Seeds

Do you eat avocados every day, but throw the seed away? In this article, we want to show you 7 very strong reasons why you should stop doing that.

Make a note of them and enjoy its properties.

There are parts of fruits and vegetables that we throw away that can be very beneficial to you. This is usually the case for seeds and skins.

When you learn about the versatility of avocado seeds, you’ll never throw them away again.

The Benefits Of Avocado Seeds

The benefits of avocado seeds

Avocado seeds have several properties. This is a fruit that stands out because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. This is because it has the ability to neutralize different toxic microorganisms.

Avocado seeds are rich in saponins. These are in charge of improving your metabolism’s function. It also gets rid of your body’s “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

At the same time, it stands out because it’s rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also has a lot of vitamin C.

To enjoy all of its benefits, you can use it both externally and internally. Externally it can be used as a cosmetic. And, internally, you can use it as a supplement made with avocado seeds.

Avocado seeds: good both externally and internally

  • Avocado seeds have antibacterial properties. Because of this, it’s perfect if you have skin irritations, hair problems, oily skin, or dandruff.

It also has a positive effect on your tone and the general state of both your skinand hair.

  • Consuming avocado seeds internally is recommended for several different things, including:
    • Obesity
    • Atherosclerosis or blood pressure issues
    • Treating inflammation or indigestion

This is a product that can be perfect as a dietary supplement in salads and smoothies, among other things.

Recommendations for consuming it

  • Remember that before consuming avocado seeds, you need to remove the brown casing.
  • Grate the casing, then chop the seed. Afterward, bake it on a low temperature for an hour.
  • If you completely bake the seed, it will take 2 hours. In either case, you will need to take off the casing and crush the seed’s pulp.
  • You shouldn’t eat it before baking it.

1. Exfoliant

The Benefits Of Avocado Seeds

To use it as an exfoliant, you’ll need to crush the avocado seed.

  • When you’ve made a powder, mix it with coffee grounds and salt.
  • Apply it to your skin with a  gentle massage.

2. Drying product

Avocado seeds can be very effective for fighting pimples and other skin imperfections.

  • To do this, you need to mix the crushed seed with warm water to get a paste.
  • If you want, you can also add tea tree oil (which has anti-fungal properties).
  • Apply the mixture on your pimple and let it work for 4 to 6 minutes. You’ll see how it dries out rapidly.

3. Mask

  • To make a mask with avocado seeds, you’ll have to mix the crushed seed with clay powder.
  • Add water until you get a creamy substance. Then, apply it on your skin. Be careful that you don’t touch the area around your eyes.
  • Let it work for 15 minutes. Then, rinse and hydrate with a moisturizing cream.

4. Hair cream

  • To make a softening hair cream for your hair, you’ll need to mix a liter of water with the grated avocado seed. Then cook it for 30 minutes on medium heat.
  • Then, strain and use the liquid to rinse your hair after washing it. And, you’ll see that your hair is much smoother.

5. Salads

Avocado seeds can be used perfectly in any salad. But, it’s better to mix it with vegetables or with avocado itself.

  • To make a perfect salad in this sense, chop the vegetables and the avocado in large pieces. Crush the avocado seed (previously baked according to the previous instructions).

6. Smoothie

The Benefits Of Avocado Seeds


  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grated avocado seed


  • Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Then, blend it until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  • You should keep in mind that the seed has a slightly bitter taste. Because of this, you can sweeten it with honey or stevia.

7. In soups or creams


  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 avocado


  • In the first place, heat the vegetable broth in a pot.
  • Chop the onion, saute it with a splash of oil. When it gets golden brown, add it to the stock.
  • Do the same with the avocado: Chop it, and add it to the pot.
  • Let it boil and then blend it.
  •  After serving the soup, sprinkle it with the ground avocado seed.

How To Grow Tangerines From Seeds

The tangerine is undoubtedly one of the tastiest citric fruits and that’s why many people like it so much. It possesses an exquisite flavor and an amazing aroma that makes it irresistible.

This citric autumnal fruit can offer you many health benefits. It strengthens the immune system, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, it helps you to have a proper lung functioning etc.

Fortunately, now you can cultivate your own tangerines at home, whether in the garden or in flowerpots! In this article, we are going to show you how you can cultivate this wonderful citric fruit and you will realize that it is very easy and economic.

How To Grow Tangerines From Seeds

Purchase tangerine seeds from a garden center or nursery. Alternatively, save the seeds from a fresh tangerine. Wash fresh seeds thoroughly as the sweet juices may cause the seed to mold.

Fill a small pot with commercial potting mixture. Use a fresh mixture that contains materials such as compost, peat moss and perlite. Be sure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom, as poorly drained soil will rot the young seedlings.

Water the potting mixture and then set the pot aside to drain until the mixture is lightly moist but not soggy.

Plant two or three seeds in the pot. Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of potting mixture.

Cover the pot with clear plastic, or slide the pot into a plastic bag. The plastic promotes germination by keeping the potting mixture warm and moist.

Place the pot in a warm location such as the top of a refrigerator or other appliance. Light is not important at this stage.

Water as needed to keep the potting mixture moist, but not soggy. Never allow the mixture to become dry. Watch for seedlings to develop in about three weeks.

Remove the plastic covering as soon as the seedlings emerge. Move the pot into a location with bright, indirect sunlight and room temperatures of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch the tangerine seedlings.

Repot the seedlings into individual, 4- to 6-inch pots when the seedlings have a pair of true leaves, which are the leaves that appear after the initial seedling leaves. Continue to keep the potting soil lightly moist.

Feed the tangerine tree monthly throughout spring and summer, using a liquid, acid-based fertilizer for rhododendrons or azaleas. Mix the fertilizer at half the strength suggested on the container.

Repot the tangerine tree into larger containers as it grows, using a pot only slightly larger each time. The moisture in a too-large pot may cause the plant to rot. Alternatively, plant the tree outdoors in spring if you live in a warm climate.

Cookies Made From Coconut, Oats And Seeds – Recipe

Sweets are quite the temptation, whether it’s for breakfast, snacks, or desserts. Instead of buying unhealthy cookies at the store, you can make these super-nutritious cookies at home. They’re not only healthier, but also filling, low in sugar, and will give you an energy boost.

That’s why we’re presenting these super-nutritious cookies made with healthy ingredients that are high in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, and fiber. Find out how to make these cookies made from coconut, oats, and seeds to feel full of energy all day.

Super-nutritious filling cookies

These cookies are much healthier than anything you’ll find at the store since they contain much less refined flour.

Instead, we include coconut, oats, and seeds. That way, they’re full of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and fiber.

They’re also made with coconut oil in place of margarine or other unhealthy vegetable oils, and are low in sugar.

They’re great for the whole family and an excellent energy boost. Don’t forget how filling they are, too: they leave you satisfied in just a few bites.

Energy-packed ingredients

The ingredients we chose for these cookies will give you lots of energy thanks to their high vegetable protein content.


Cookies Made From Coconut, Oats And Seeds - Recipe

Coconuts are a wonderful fruit and a very healthy alternative to flour in all kinds of dessert recipes.

  • They contain vitamins, minerals, and oligo elements, and you can consume the pulp, water, and even make a tasty vegetable milk.
  • They also contain a good amount of healthy fat that doesn’t just not make you gain weight, but actually activates your metabolism to help you burn more calories.

Coconut oil has been getting very popular since it doesn’t oxidize at high temperatures, unlike most oils.

If you can’t find coconut oil, olive oil is a good second choice here.


Cookies Made From Coconut, Oats And Seeds - Recipe

Oats are one of the healthiest and nutritious grains out there and are something no one should leave out of their diet.

  • They have a high fiber content, which encourages a feeling of fullness and improves intestinal movement.
  • They’re high in mucilage too, a component that regulates your digestion.
  • A serving of oats a day will help you feel full of energy while regulating your nervous system. It will keep you going and help you relax in stressful situations or when anxiety hits.

Raw oats are hard for many people to digest, which is why these super-nutritious cookies are a great way to consume them without causing any stomach issues.


Cookies Made From Coconut, Oats And Seeds - Recipe

The seeds are the star of this recipe: they’re little super-food gems that are very high in nutrients that every balanced diet needs.

We recommend the following:

  • Linseed and chia seeds: High in omega 3 fatty acids, they help your intestines function well, regulate your cholesterol and triglycerides, and make you feel fuller.
  • Sesame seeds: Very high in calcium.
  • AniseAnise, in addition to helping with your digestion, gives a special sweet taste to these cookies.

We recommend grinding them so they’re easier to digest and using them like a flour in baked goods or in salads, soups, stews, breads, etc.



  • 1 cup of instant oats (200 g)
  • 1/2 cup of wheat flour (or rice flour for gluten-free) (100 g)
  • 1 cup of grated coconut (100 g)
  • 2/3 cup of ground seeds (linseed, chia, sesame, anise seeds) (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (10 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of coconut or olive oil (150 g)
  • Baking powder


  • First, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  • Mix the oats, flour, grated coconut, and ground seeds in a bowl.
  • Add the sugar and stir.
  • Form the mixture into a mound with a hold in the center, where you’ll add the eggs.
  • With clean hands, mix all ingredients until incorporated and a dough forms.
  • Add the vanilla extract and oil and mix again.
  • Lastly, add the baking powder.
  • Make little balls, put onto a baking sheet, and flatten.
  • Bake at 375 for half an hour.
  • After you remove them from the oven, you can add cinnamon and/or sugar on top.
  • Once cool, they’re ready to eat.

The Surprising Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds

Papaya is a delicious fruit that has become very famous for all its many health benefits, thanks to its content of fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, papain, thiamine, niacin, and vitamins, which especially boost intestinal movement and the immune system.

Papaya comes from Mexico and other Central American countries. When the conquistadors arrived, they took the papaya seed throughout South America and other places in the world like Malaysia, the Philippines, China, and Hawaii.

The papaya has since turned into a popular fruit in many areas around the world. It is full of properties and its delicious flavor also makes it great for desserts, juices, or eating it on its own. However, most people who eat papaya remove its seeds without realizing that they can also be eaten and have significant health benefits. Would you like to find out what the benefits of eating papaya seeds are?

Protect the Kidney

Eating papaya seeds helps prevent kidney failure problems and also helps treatment when you are already suffering from this problem. For this case especially, we recommend chewing 7 papaya seeds 7 times a day.

Help Cleanse the Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in your body because its task is to filter toxins and toxic substances to prevent many disease. When this organ is affected by some kind of illness, you are at risk of developing chronic problems. For that reason, it is important to give it a hand and help cleanse the substances it doesn’t need.

In that sense, papaya seeds can be huge allies, especially in cases of liver cirrhosis. For that reason, you should grind 5 papaya seeds, mix with a tablespoon of lemon, and drink the mixture twice a day for a month.

Improve Intestinal Health

Thanks to their high amount of anti-parasitic enzymes, papaya seeds improve intestinal health. These have an anthelmintic alkaloid called carpaine, which has the ability to get rid of intestinal parasites. For those cases, dry the seeds and grind them. Next dilute a teaspoon of this powder in water and boil it. Or, you can add honey and consume them two to three times a day.

Protect the Digestive System

Papaya seeds also have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that improve digestive health. Various studies have found that papaya seeds fight Salmonella, staphylococcus, among other infectious agents. We recommend eating 7 seeds three times a day in this case.

Absorb Excess Fats and Sugars

Papaya seeds also have a fat-burning effect on your bodybecause they have the ability to stop the body from absorbing excess fats and sugars, which accelerate the digestion process and contribute to weight loss.

Three Simple Tricks to Lose Weight by Eating Papaya Seeds

Surely one of the things that is most noticeable about the benefits of papaya seeds is their ability to help you lose weight. If that’s the case, then keep reading for the three tricks to help you lose weight by eating papaya seeds. Before we mention them, we remind you that it is important to be patient because the results happen over time. You should also remember that in order to notice the results, you have to have a healthy diet and exercise frequently.

Trick #1

Eat 12 papaya seeds with grapefruit tea everyday on an empty stomach. Do this remedy for 15 days in a row and then rest for 15 days

Trick #2

Again on an empty stomach, add 15 papaya seeds to a glass of grapefruit juice and drink it by swallowing the seeds as if they were pills. This juice will also help fight excess fat, as well as help you have a better digestion.

Trick #3

The last trick to take advantage of the benefits of papaya seeds consists of chewing a few seeds and adding them to salads or vinaigrettes. It will taste spicy, similar to mustard, so it’s best to avoid overdoing it.