Monday, November 7, 2011

Seed Starting Basics (part 2)

No, I didn't forget to include seeds in the first post.  More important than clean containers, soil, water and sun are SEEDS.  I am biased when it comes to garden seeds as I run an online seed company.  However, I did years of research before I came to the decision to only grow plants from organic, heirloom, open-pollinated, non-gmo seeds.


I'll simplify here because my soapbox isn't big enough for me to be here all day.  Heirlooms seed varieties are a seeds variety over 50 years old and have not been modified and are open-pollinated.  GMO seeds are genetically modified organisms, also called "franken-seeds."   

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are created using gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, GE)  In 30 other countries around the world there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, because they are not considered proven safe. In the U.S. on the other hand, the FDA approved commercial production of GMOs based on studies conducted by the companies who created them and profit from their sale. 

For more information,
check out

Depending on the variety of vegetable or herb seed you choose, germination can take between 3-21 days.  

Don't forget to label your seeds!!!  Recently, I ran out of recycled containers so I bought Jiffy Pots.  I placed several jiffy pots in recycled trays and then simply labeled the tray.  Same with recycled toilet paper rolls in the plastic tray with only the tray labeled.  The seeds I planted in plastic containers are individually labeled with painter's tape.

Starting plants from seed take patience and commitment.  Seedlings (baby plants) should be ready to be transplanted between 4 to 6 weeks from germination.  If seeds are started in a small container it might be necessary to transplant earlier into a larger container.

While seeds are germinating and seedlings are growing tall it's time to decide what to do with them once they're ready to transplant.  (more on transplanting later this week)

Happy Planting!

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