Growing seeds into a vibrant, bright, green plant may look difficult and reserved only for a few, but in fact it’s not as hard as you think. With the right steps, timing, tools and of course, proper attention, you could even become a master of the green arts of growing seedlings!
Because each plant has unique seed-starting requirements, it helps to start small by growing just a few varieties. Some seeds — such as tomatoes and marigolds — are especially easy to start indoors. Other good choices for beginners are basil, zinnia, coleus, nasturtium and cosmos. If you’re a beginner, choose those first, and then move on to more fussy seeds, such as petunias.
How Do I Get Started?
Like we said earlier, the practice of growing seedlings is quite easy but you just don’t throw some seeds into the ground, pour water and boom, plants. Nah, you need to follow through with the following steps:
1.Get the timing right
The goal with seed starting is to have your seedlings ready to go outside when the weather is favorable. Start by looking at the seed packet, which should tell you when to start seeds inside. Usually, it will say something like, “Plant inside six to eight weeks before last frost.”
2. Find the right containers
You can start seeds in almost any type of container, as long as it’s at least 2-3″ deep and has some drainage holes. If you are the DIY type, you might want to grow seedlings in yogurt cups, milk cartons or paper cups.
3. Prepare the potting soil
Choose potting soil that’s made for growing seedlings. Do not use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants. Start with a fresh, sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings.
4. Start Planting
Check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds. Some of the small ones can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried.
Moisten the newly planted seeds with a mister or a small watering can. To speed germination, cover the pots with plastic wrap or a plastic dome that fits over the seed-starting tray. This helps keep the seeds moist before they germinate. When you see the first signs of green, remove the cover.
5. Water, feed, repeat
As the seedlings grow, use a mister or a small watering can to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. Set up a fan to ensure good air movement and prevent disease.
6. Light, light, light!
Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure. Rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light. If seedlings don’t get enough light, they will be leggy and weak. If you’re growing under lights, adjust them so they’re just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings. Set the lights on a timer timer for 15 hours a day. Keep in mind that seedlings need darkness, too, so they can rest. As the seedlings grow taller, raise the lights.
7. Move seedlings outdoors gradually
It’s not a good idea to move your seedlings directly from the protected environment of your home into the garden. You’ve been coddling these seedlings for weeks, so they need a gradual transition to the great outdoors
Maine-based mom Jes Antonis sent us this sweet spring garden activity. We can’t wait to do it this weekend! Ready. Set. Sow!
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