Whether you're a beginner sower or a green fingered grower we're here to help kick things off for you this year. Follow the steps below to get your seeds started indoors and watch them bloom as the season changes.
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Gather growing containers
These can be seed-starting flats, peat pots, toilet paper rolls, newspaper pots, or any recycled container with a few holes pricked into the bottom. You can exclude growing containers altogether by using a soil block maker to cram the soil into a block. Whatever container you pick, wash them with warm soapy water and rinse well. Place them in leak-proof trays or containers to block water from oozing.
Prepare your seed starting soil
Make sure that you use a new seed starting mix that’s made specifically for growing seedlings. Using soil from your garden or re-using potting soil from houseplants increases the risk of disease to run rampant in your new and exposed seedlings. To avoid this, start with a crisp, clean, seed starting mix. In this environment, healthy seedlings will flourish before you know it!
Pre-moisten the seed starting mix before filling your containers. The mix should be slightly moist, but not wet. Next, fill your containers 1/2-inch of the top of the container. Press down gently to remove any air pockets.
Sow your seeds
Check the seed packet instructions for each different type of seed to see how deep you should sow them. Punch holes into the soil in the middle of your containers and dredge 2 or 3 seeds. Tuck the seeds with soil, press down gently so the seed makes contact with the soil, and mist the soil surface with water. Label the containers with the seed variety and sowing date. Cover the containers (if you have one) with a humidity dome to keep in moisture.
Set up a lighted seed starting area
To sprout healthy seedlings, ideally you will need a well-lit area. Seedlings need at least 12-16 hours of light every day. If you can, set your lights on for 16 hours and then off for 8. If your lights cannot be set to function automatically, do this manually with reminders on your phone. Keep the lights about 2-inches above the seedlings.
Begin fertilizing the seedlings once true leaves sprout
Most seed starting mixes do not contain any additional nutrients. This is because when seeds first sprout, they can get their own from the seed’s endosperm. Once the second set of leaves form, it is time to begin fertilizing your seedlings. Start a fertilizing regimen using half-strength, organic liquid fertilizer such as liquid fish fertilizer or worm casting tea.
And that’s how simple it is!