More resources for the planter and flowerbox starters:
Last week, Trillium mentioned the Lee Valley self-watering seed starter, which looks perfect for a small group of herbs for the kitchen.
For those of you that are tidy and may not have a large working space, please consider peat pellets. They are the size of an Alka Seltzer tablet and expand to fill a small seedling container. They are clean – you just add water and let them expand – and are said to help with a higher germination rate. I am currently using these to grow sweat peas and they are fantastic. They also eliminate the potential mess from a bag of soil.
As for seed quality, the packets from the stands at the store have been hit-or-miss. My Home Depot seeds have had a low germination rate. Paying a little more for quality seeds truly does pay off in the long-run. The other week I mentioned Select Seeds. The seeds I received from them have done beautifully with almost 100 percent success. Another great company that emphasizes quality control and preserving heirloom varieties is Victory Seeds. I also have had much success from -surprise- small seed growers on eBay, which is also where you can get deals on peat pellets. - Matt N.