What a difference I couple of weeks makes. I was feeling stressed about not having the garden ready to plant yet so I relived it with some improvised seed starting. Even though we still have stacks of boxes and our living room looks like a storage locker, that all can wait (yes I know I sound a bit nuts), but the summer garden calls the shots in this house. The boxes are not going to sprout in a week when the weather gets sunny, although it does seem like they are multiplying, but my beets and cauliflower will. Before I could get into the garden I started some seeds on a table by the window so I wouldn't be too far behind. Zucchini, winter squash, crookneck squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatillos and basil and dill. It's really easy to start seed on the table, you need to remember squash and cucumbers do not like to have their roots disturbed, so that's why I used the peat pots, you plant the seedling and pot in the ground together. There is no need to spend the money on those pots for other seeds. I use the large trays with small individual seed cells year after year for herbs, cold crops, and anything that isn't too sensitive. A window will start your seeds just fine (assuming your house is warm enough, 65-70 degrees), you may find your plants getting "leggy" long and skinny. Most of the time they grow out of it, if they don't they will not be able to hold up the weight of their own fruit. They best thing for indoor starts is a grow light. Keep the light an inch above the plants, as the plants grow move the light up. The small, standing, shelf green houses are great, inexpensive and for most people plenty of room for all the starts you want. I bought my tomatoes this year, I bought small plants, you usually get three for $2ish, I replanted them into larger pots and put them in the window (it's too early here to put them out). Remember when repotting tomatoes and tomatillos to pull off the bottom leaves and plant as far up the stem as you can, leaving three or four leaves on the top. It will help make strong thick stalks. In two weeks you have a whole garden that cost a lot less then buying all those starts, not to mention family and friends love the left overs! Did you catch the little garden helper in the pics? My boys are excellent garden helper, we will see if I say the same when all the garden goodies disappear before making it to the table.
P.S when using basil off a grown plant snip a whole stalk off, cut the stem right above the bud above the dirt. Your plant will spout many more stalks off this cutting. If you your plant starting to go to seed (flower columns coming off the top) snip these off.