|Tobacco seed pods and seeds|
It's time to start the very first garden seeds -- tobacco and celery. Both of these take a long time to grow to transplant size.
Our house is extremely small and it gets fairly cool at night, but we do have lots of south-facing windows. Some years, I've had hundreds of transplants growing inside, but this year it won't be quite so crowded. One three-tiered shelf by the window might be enough. By the time the house is getting really full, the weather is nice and we're outside most of the time, anyway.
I start all but the biggest seeds in egg cartons, the styrofoam ones. (I wouldn't buy styrofoam, but I will recycle it for someone who does.) They get filled with the dirt that I stored my carrots in over the winter. This is the only soil I have that's not frozen under two feet of snow. I know, I'm supposed to use only special, sterilized, seed-starting medium, but I rarely have any problems from using the stuff out of my cold room.
Since I'm starting seeds that like warm soil, I close the egg cartons and put them on a high shelf in the vicinity of the stove. I'll check them every day, watering if they dry out, until the seeds start to sprout. Then I'll start opening the lids for light and putting them on the shelf by the window during the days and moving them back up for the night. This goes on until they outgrow their egg cartons and are ready for transplanting. In the case of tobacco and celery, it will be a few weeks.