Sunday, November 6, 2011

Seed Starting Basics

There are a few VERY important things to remember when starting plants from seed.

1. Containers. I use recycled containers from previous plant purchases, yogurt or cottage cheese containers and even empty toilet paper rolls.

2. Soil.  It is possible to mix your own seed starting soil using potting soil, perlite and moss.  Otherwise, your local garden center should carry a pre-mixed seed starter soil.

3. Water.  It is important to moisten the soil before you plant seeds so you don't wash them away.  While seeds are germinating keep the soil moist but not soggy.

4. Heat or sun.  In Florida I am able to leave most of my seed pots in a covered patio area.  In other parts of the country it might be necessary to start seeds indoors using a grow light or by placing pots on top of a fridge or a sunny windowsill.

Most of the seeds I planted last week are growing wonderfully.  Several are just barely peaking out of the dirt.

If you are growing seedlings indoors it is important to "harden off" plants about 2 weeks before transplanting.  To do this, set them outside and water less but don't forget about them.  If a frost warning has been issued cover seedlings or bring them inside.

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