Well, spring is finally here and it is time to get ready for the growing season. It’s been a long and snowy winter this year. I am looking forward to getting some seeds in the ground and start growing some food. Every year I like to start some seeds indoors and then transplant them in my raised beds after the frost has cleared. Let me show you how to start seeds indoors.
How to Start Seeds Indoors
Starting seeds indoors is a great way to grow the vegetables you want that some of your garden shops may not carry as seedlings. I like to do a combination of both indoor seedlings and plants from my local garden store. Most of the other seeds like lettuce, chard, peas and radishes can be sowed directly in your beds. This year I am starting some broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, onions and cucumbers.
Here is what you will need:
- Seed starting container
- Then you will need some soil. Not just any soil. You’ll need soil that is formulated for seed starting and germination.
- You will need some sort of light source. I like to use a fluorescent light. I hook it up to some small chains so I can move it up and down depending on how tall the plants get.
- Popsicle sticks to label your trays. If you don’t, you may forget what is growing.
- A spray bottle to mist your soil.
- A light timer. Seeds need at least 12-16 hours of light to get germinating.
Sowing Your Seeds
Here comes the fun part. Now it’s time to place the soil into your seed trays. Fill them up almost to the top. Dig a little hole in each tray and place one seed in each tray pack. Once you have all your seeds in, you can top off each pack with soil. Make sure to label each tray pack with what you sowed.
You can now mist your soil with your spray bottle. Make sure to give it a good healthy mist. Now place the see-through covers over the seed trays to allow the light to shine through and the moisture to be captured to get the germination underway. Set your timer to allow the light to stay on for at least 12 hours.
I like to check my seeds at least once a day to make sure that soil is moist. If it looks dry, just mist away with your spray bottle. Once your seeds begin to germinate and start growing to about 1 inch or 2 you can remove the see-through cover. You may have to adjust the light up a few notches as not to burn your seedlings. Just remember to keep misting your soil when it is dry.
Before you plant your seedlings outside, you should allow them to acclimate to the outdoor temperature. I like to place my trays outside on a sunny day or on my sun porch for a few weeks to get them hardy before planting into the ground. Just make sure not to leave them out if you have a frost warning at night. I have done that before and all your hard work has gone to waste. Have fun and enjoy the growing season. I hope it’s a good one!
Do you have any tips on how to start seeds indoors?