I've finally done some of my early seed starting and I'm having some success. I've learned the value of "fresh"aka new seeds. I started these new lettuce seeds inside in the APS growing system and 2 days later they had sprouted. I normally don't start lettuce inside but this year I'm wanting to plant them out in a pattern alternating some of the green and red lettuces in the raised beds. In one of the rows I planted Ruby lettuce seed from a few seasons ago and it has yet to sprout. Under optimum conditions lettuce seed viability could be about 5 years but since I keep mine in a cupboard in the basement and not in a fridge I'm not expecting them to last that long. Besides, when you compare the cost of buying a bag of the fancy lettuce with a few packets of seeds that will provide lettuce in the garden for 3 months it's a bargain to start with new seeds each year. Below is a list of the seeds that I have started so far.
Lettuce started inside on 3/10( all Pinetree Garden Seeds). Sprouted 3/12 New Red Fire Tom Thumb May Queen Jericho Red Grendbloise Ruby(not Pinetree Garden Seeds)
Broccoli seeds started 3/10. Sprouted 3/13 Gypsy Small Miracle Early Dividend
Eggplant started 3/14. Lavender Touch-sprouted 3/20 Dusky Pingtung Long
Pepper started 3/14 Ancho Hot Pepper
Flowers started 3/14 Impatiens Accent Star Mix Begonia Bronze Leaf Mix Dahlia Red Skin Mix Marigold Lemon Star White Chrysanthemum Paludosum Hollyhock Black Hollyhock Queeny Purple Rehmannia Chinese Foxglove Aster Perser Mix Datura Black Currant Coleus Black Dragon Streptocarpus Weismoor Formula
I'm not an expert gardener by a long stretch but I do enjoy growing my plants from seed. I mostly do this because I'm a frugal gardener but I also appreciate how it helps get me through a long Midwest winter.