Starting your own seedlings is a great way to save money, have a wider selection of varieties and gain personal satisfaction. Here are easy to follow tips on getting your seeds off to a great start.
- seed starting soil-recipe to follow
- container with holes in the bottom
- clear lid
- watering can
- heat source
- 3 parts peat/coir
- 2 parts perlite
- 2 parts compost
or buy a good mix from a garden center
- fill container over the top
- gently press down and scrape off extra
- make sure the corners have soil
- make divets with you finger. Go as deep as planting seed depth which is usually on back of packet or about twice as long as the seed.
- place seeds in holes
- cover with soil
- press down gently
Gently water. use bottom watering in a tray or a very gentle watering can.
Use a heat mat (you can find them at garden centers). Otherwise, maybe the top of your refrigerator is warm or some other spot.
Mist regularly to keep moist. Water as needed so that the soil doesn't dry out.
Once sprouted, find a bright spot for you seedlings. You can use florescent lights if they are kept about 6 inches above the plant.
Once the plants have true leaves,not the first two that appear (They are called cotyledons), Fertilize weekly with fish fertilizer. Follow instructions on package for dilution amounts.
Once they are big enough and the weather is right, transplant the seedlings outside. First they will need to be hardened off. To do this, set the plants outside for an hour or so. Gradually increase the time they are exposed to the outside until they are used to a full day of sun (6-8 hours).