The seeds have been gathered; the potting soil is mixed up, I’ve told you what I plan to be starting indoors and now is the time to get started. I love reading seed catalogs and tend to get carried away with what I want to plant. However, I only have one simple growing table with two grow lights, so my space is limited.
Organization is key when it comes to starting seeds. I keep a chart where I write down what seeds I will start and when to start them. If you search online there are various resources to help you stay organized. There are two downloads I have used in the past.
Little House in the Suburb has a little booklet you can put together. By determining your last day of frost you work backwards to determine what you should plant and when. I have also downloaded a seed-starting chart from Martha Stewart. It is basically the same information just on one sheet.
As I told you last week I will be starting peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and leeks this year. I have a collection of containers I use to start my seeds. The containers are re-used each year.
I place a small piece of paper towel in the bottom of each container. This keeps the soil mixture contained and by the time I need to transplant the paper towel will have dissolved.
Using my homemade potting soil I fill the containers and moistened them slightly.
One rule of thumb is to plant the seeds 2-3 times as deep as the seed is wide. Leek seeds are rather small and are pretty much sprinkled on the top of the soil.
Once my seeds are planted I make sure the soil is moist. One way to do this is to fill a plastic bin with water and float the pot in it until the surface is damp. I then label each container with the date and the name of the plant. This will help me keep track of how many days it took the seeds to germinate and will also help me when it comes time to plants the vegetable plants in the garden. I may be able to tell leeks from eggplant but it is very important to keep track of the variety of peppers and tomatoes.
Cover the seeds with a plastic or glass cover to create a mini greenhouse. You need to keep the seeds warm; a heating pad may be necessary. You do not need a grow light until the seeds sprout. Once you see the first seed sprouting remove the cover and place under your grow light. Keep a close eye on the seedlings, as you don’t want them to dry out.
It may still look winter outside, but once I’ve started my seeds I know that spring is coming. It won’t be long before I’ll be busy outside in the garden!
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