Next you'll need clean containers. I like to use recycled plastics (yogurt/sour cream) as often as possible. When I start LOTS of seeds for customers I tend to use red solo cups. Peat Pellets or Coconut Coir Pellets make seed starting even easier!
A big, clear area to work is important. I use my back screened-in patio. My husband made a simple bench for all of my seedlings and containers. This space gets plenty of natural light...
Which brings me to the next point.
LIGHT! If you are starting seeds indoors you'll need a space with natural light OR use grow lights. Temperatures should be kept at about 70-75 degrees.
Different seeds have different germination rates.
For example, Radish can germinate in as few as 5 days and Carrots can take up to 15 days!
Water is critical. The potting medium must remain moist, but never soggy. Check daily! Very wet soil will deprive the roots of life-giving oxygen and drown your new plants and dry soil will not be allowed to grow. I prefer to "bottom-water" so I don't dislodge tiny seedlings and because it encourages downward root growth.
Keep your seedlings Warm.
Most seed varieties need at least 50-60 degrees to germinate. You can buy a fancy seedling warmer mat like the Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat or just use a heating pad if your seed-starting area gets too cold. I use a large shelf in my laundry room if it gets too cold outside. My laundry room it doesn't get to hot or too cold and it gets natural sunlight. Once seeds have germinated, they need to grow! Alternatives to heating mats might be the top of your fridge or close to a heater/radiator (not on top).
Next we'll talk about FEBRUARY SEED-STARTING for the rest of the country as well as "hardening off"
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