How to Start Seeds
Keep it Simple
Growing plants from seed is a great way to start gardening earlier in the season. With the right light and some simple equipment, it’s easy to grow from seed to harvest.
Because each plant has unique seed-starting requirements, it helps to start small by growing just a few varieties. Some seeds — such as tomatoes and marigolds — are especially easy to start indoors. Other good choices for beginners are basil, zinnia, coleus, nasturtium and cosmos. If you’re a beginner, choose those first, and then move on to more fussy seeds, such as petunias.
Seven Steps, from Seed to Garden
- Get the timing right.The goal with seed starting is to have your seedlings ready to go outside when the weather is favorable. Start by looking at the seed packet, which should tell you when to start seeds.
- Find the right containers. You can start seeds in almost any type of container, as long as it’s at least 2-3″ deep and has some drainage holes. If you are the DIY type, you might want to grow seedlings in yogurt cups, milk cartons or paper cups.
- Prepare the potting soil.
Choose potting soil that’s made for growing seedlings. Do not use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants. Start with a fresh, sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings.Before filling your containers, use a bucket or tub to moisten the planting mix. The goal is to get it moist but not sopping wet; crumbly, not gloppy. Fill the containers and pack the soil firmly to eliminate gaps.
- Start Planting.
Check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds. Some of the small ones can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried. After you’ve dropped a seed in each divot, you can go back and cover the seeds. Moisten the newly planted seeds with a mister or a small watering can.
- Water, feed, repeat.
As the seedlings grow, use a mister or a small watering can to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings.
- Light, light, light.
Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure. Rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light. If seedlings don’t get enough light, they will be leggy and weak.
- Move seedlings outdoors gradually.
It’s not a good idea to move your seedlings directly from the protected environment of your home into the garden. You’ve been coddling these seedlings for weeks, so they need a gradual transition to the great outdoors. The process is called hardening off. About a week before you plan to set the seedlings into the garden, place them in a protected spot outdoors (partly shaded, out of the wind) for a few hours, bringing them in at night.
More information and supplies be sure and visit https://www.gardeners.com/buy/indoor-gardening/seed-starting-supplies/
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