Today is now officially the first day of the 2013 growing season as I start a new batch of seeds for transplant. I’m planting 3 trays of 2″ soil blocks. Each tray holds 36 blocks. As the trays are laid out in a 4×9 grid, I generally plant the seeds in groups of 4. I’m starting leeks, spinach, lettuce, kale, turnips, beets, and swiss chard. Leeks, beets, turnips, chard, and spinach each will be thinned to 4 seedling per block. Lettuce, chard, and kale are thinned to 1 seedling per block. I sowed 1-2 seeds extra accordingly, expecting about an 80% germination rate. I drop the seeds into the blocks that are still wet from the form, loosely cover with some soil from the soil block, and then cover the tray in a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment. Normally I only depend on room temperature to help the seeds germinate, but this year Angie received a warming pad as a gift from one of her clients, so we’ll give that a try on the tray with the beets, turnips, chard, and leeks. I’ll water with a mister 1-2 times a day to keep the soil most, and will put a florescent light 16 hours/day on top of the handles once the plants begin emerging.