EEEK its my first time ever starting seeds indoors and I have been doing alot of research on how to do this properly!! I never thought in a million years I’d be at this point but I really do love gardening its very relaxing!! I have had a garden for a few years but have never been brave enough to start my own seedlings and so far its turning out GREAT!!
You might think growing from seed is a practice only for advanced gardeners, but it isn’t difficult to get the basics down. Rule number one: Don’t sow too early or your plants will be leggy and overgrown long before you can transplant them into the garden.
In my experience, if the seed packet recommends sowing four to six weeks before the last frost date, it’s better to pick the four- rather than the six-week date.
1. Choosing seeds
Annuals and vegetables are the easiest to grow. Perennials, however, are trickier because most need a period of cold to break dormancy and take a couple of seasons to reach flowering size.
Propagating kits (available at garden centres or hardware stores) include four or six cell packs, a tray to hold the packs and a plastic lid. If reusing containers, wash with soap, water and a little bleach, and make sure they have drainage holes. Newly sprouted seedlings may look alike, so label containers as you sow.
3. Sowing medium
Use fresh, sterile seed-starting mixture (available from garden centres). Moisten mixture about an hour before sowing; it shouldn’t be soggy, just as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
4. Follow directions
Seed packets contain information on timing, lighting requirements, sowing depth, and optimal germination and growing temperatures.
5. Keep moisture in
Lightly water freshly sown flats, then cover with plastic dome lid, or if reusing containers, place them inside a plastic zip-lock bag. At the first signs of germination, uncover or remove from plastic bag.
When the top of the soil looks dry, water carefully using a small watering can with a fine spray. Avoid overwatering: soggy soil and poor air circulation can lead to damping off, a fungal disease that can kill baby plants. Prevention is best, but the fungicide No Damp can also help.
A bright window works, but grow lights or cool fluorescent tubes are better. Keep seedlings about eight to 10 centimetres from light source to prevent plants from becoming too spindly. Mines higher right now but my room is very bright. Since my are in the garage we have our mini fireplace set up in there which I have been turning on at night so that its nice and toasty in there.
When seedlings have two sets of true leaves (the first leaves are called cotyledons—or seed leaves—so wait for the true ones), start feeding once a week with a balanced (20-20-20), water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength, working up to full strength after a few weeks.
Take it outside
Plants grown indoors need hardening off before they are planted outdoors. After the last frost date, start by setting them outside in a shady, sheltered spot, initially for half a day, then gradually leaving them out all day. Progressively move them into sunnier and windier areas to acclimatize to garden conditions.
Honestly if I can do this this anybody can!! The kids and I are finding it so fun to watch them grow and its such a proud feeling when you can turn a little seed into a plant!! It actually boggles my mind haha.
I planted more then one seed in a cell as you can see I need to thin a few of them out!! Being a newbie I was scared nothing was going to take but I didn’t have to worry at all!
I’m excited to show you guys how my plants are all growing!! I started my cucumbers and zucchini and peppers and tomatoes and kale so far and a few squash as well.
Are you a seed Newbie too? If so how are seeds doing? What have you started?