Starting seeds indoors is an inexpensive way to raise an assortment of bedding plants and vegetables. It is also an activity that children enjoy as well.
- Soiless mix. Promix™ is a good choice because it is light and easy for seedlings to break through.
- Seed flats and inserts or peat pots or Jiffy peat pellets
- Mister bottle
- Plant labels
Starting your seeds
- Moisten your starter mix with warm water and work through the mix with fingers. Try to eliminate all dry clumps.
- Place moistened mix in the containers to about ¼” from the rim. Tap down to rid the soil of air bubbles.
- Read the instructions on the seed packet. In some cases, it may be necessary to soak the seeds before planting. Plant large seeds about 2 times the width of the seed deep. For fine seeds, use an old saltshaker to sprinkle them into the container.
- Lightly cover seeds with soil mixture.
- Label the seeds.
- Place newly seeded containers in a warm sunny (but not direct sunlight) area for germination. These containers can also be covered with plastic dome to create a greenhouse effect.
- Soil should be kept moist but be careful not to overwater as the seedlings will “damp off” that is, will fall over. A product called “No Damp” can be used to inhibit rotting.
- When seedlings have grown their first set of real leaves, it is time to space them out. The dome should also be removed to encourage air circulation.
- Before planting the seedlings in the garden, harden them off by preparing them for outdoor conditions. You may begin the process two weeks before planting them in the garden by placing them outdoors (out of direct sun) everyday and taking them in during the night.
- When putting the seedlings in the garden, use transplanter fertilizer to give the plants a good start.
Direct seeding in the garden
Some plants should be directly seeded into your garden as they do not transplant well.
- Root vegetables such as carrots and beets;