Thursday, January 16, 2014

Seed Starting Indoors

The most obvious place to start is SEEDS!  We use only non-GMO, open-pollinated, Heirloom Seeds.  Mary's Heirloom Seeds are all of the above AND they are un-treated!  Freshness of seeds is of utmost importance...And Mary's Heirloom Seeds only sells FRESH heirlooms packed in PAPER envelopes and not plastic.

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"
Hand-packed, Heirloom Seeds ready to ship!
Helpful Seed-Starting Links:

We'd like to hear from YOU!  
What region / state are you in and what grows best for you?

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Jill Flinton said...

I tried seed starting a few years ago but my cat seemed to like the seeds and never left them alone! I picked a place she never went, but the greenery must have been too tempting. Thanks for joining the Thumping Thursday bloghop.

Mary Smith said...

Hey Jill! I had the same problem when I tried seed-starting in the main part of our house. Luckily, our laundry room is off limits to the cats so everything gets planted out there.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Julia Nyanyo said...

We have a funny little lean to on the back of the house that we laughingly call the conservatory, but it is bright, not too warm and has a whole load of shelves. I always start our seedlings off there and they do all right, I also use to to overwinter any tender plants. I'm in the UK so our timing for things may be a little different.

Erin Blegen said...

I was just thinking about this today...I love that in the dark depths of winter I get to start planning and looking forward to the growing season :)

Visiting via the Tuesdays with a Twist Hop! :)


Becky Elmuccio said...

Thanks for linking up these tips on Tuesday Greens!