Starting Seeds Indoors

I am praying for a fruitful garden this year. Each year, I plant the seeds and pull the weeds, water the plants and watch them grow. But, the only thing I seem to grow well is tomatoes. I am not sure if the soil is too acidic or if it has too much nitrogen, or not enough phosphorous or potassium - wondering if I should get a soil test kit? Last year I planted late because the weather was too cool. I may have waited too long. Also wondering if the garden boxes get enough sun?

One thing is for sure - every year I pray for wisdom and that Heavenly Father will bless my efforts - and this year is no exception!

I started my seeds early last year (as I do every year) in hopes that I can give them a head start. We do have a very short growing season in Northern Wyoming. The seedlings do well at first, and then they seem to reach a point that they need to be in the ground with lots of sun to do well. So, I got to thinking about the light hut we built during our Botany study and made an extra large light hut for my starts.

I covered a large box with tin foil on all sides and hooked a plant light to the box. Then I added a third tray and ended up with this:

Tomatoes seedlings over two weeks time:
I keep the light on 24 hours a day and I think they are doing well! I water the trays from the bottom, but I use the spray bottle if one or two are looking like they need a drink. This week, I took them out of the light hut to give them some real sunshine. (Still keeping the light on). Plus, I needed the light hut box for another project that I have going on. Soon, they will need to be transplanted and they will cover the whole table.

My set up in the dining room, the sunniest spot in the house:
We also bought 3 fruit trees (apple, plum and cherry) and 8 blueberry plants to plant on our property in Montana (aka our would-be homestead). I also picked up some hollyhock roots to plant along the back fence here. In the summer, the east fence is covered with Virginia Creeper, but the Northeast side is bare. So, I thought they would look pretty, add some color and add a little more privacy. (Our back yard borders the YMCA). I love this house, though. It is in the perfect location for living in town. We are walking distance to downtown, the walking path, the library (right across the street), the Y (behind us), 2 of our prettiest parks in town are a half a block and 2 blocks away. I feel really blessed to be here. I am happy that I am able to garden (or at least attempt to) and we were given permission to turn the shed into a chicken coop. We will fence off a chicken run around the shed and they will have plenty of dirt to dust themselves with since the grass won't grow there. I am just so thankful that Father has us where we are and that we also can work towards building our dream.

Also, this past week, Elli and I got out and planted some seeds that can be started outdoors. We planted spinach and swiss chard. It is probably still too cold to germinate, but as soon as it warms up enough they will (hope so anyways!). The seed packets say that they can be planted in the spring as soon as the soil is workable.
I love including my daughter whenever I can. She still remembers the carrots that she grew last year and loves to be outside with me.
(I need to find her a pair of child-sized garden gloves, though.)
I have really enjoyed being outside, cleaning up the yard, raking leaves, and getting the garden boxes ready these past couple weeks. I even remembered to label the boxes and I actually turned the compost pile. And I am really hoping that Father will bless my efforts this year (because if we had to survive off my gardening, we would starve).

Abba, please bless my efforts!