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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Starting Seeds Indoors

Growing your own plants from seeds is a great way to save money on your garden. Grow your own seeds indoors early in the year so they are ready to be planted when the weather is warm enough.
Starting seeds indoors is a great way to extend the growing season.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors


Warm season vegetables like tomatoes and peppers and cool season vegetables do well with being started early and transplanted later into the garden.

When To Start Seeds Indoors and Picking Your Seeds

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

First step is deciding what seeds you would like to grow for the vegetables you would like in your garden. You can find seed packets at most general stores. Also be sure to check out your local garden center, where you can find seeds in the packet, but also in bulk. You might also buy seeds from some seed catalog companies. We grow a large amount of vegetables in our garden, so we always buy in bulk from some seed companies. 


Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

Seeds need to be started early enough to be a good size when transplanting. You should start seeds indoors generally between 6 to 8 weeks before the average frost date. You'll want to read each of the seed packets to see what it says for when to plant seeds indoors for each type of seeds you'd like to grow. 

Some seeds are fast growers and others take a little longer. Fast seeds may only take a few weeks to grow large enough to transplant into the garden, while others are slower to germinate and takes the seeds longer to grown. 

Every growing zone has different seed starting dates based on the average first frost. On the back of the seed packets, will tell how many weeks ahead of the first frost date to sow the seeds. 

Indoor Seeds Starting Supplies

There are several seed starting supplies and equipment around, but the basics are seed planting trays, a good quality soil mix or peat pellets.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

You can use eco-friendly pots that can be planted right in the ground at the time of transplanting or plastic cell trays, where you will remove the soil cube with the seedling in it to plant.

I like to use the peat pellets. They are available already in a peat pellet kit or you can buy them in bulk and put them in the tray yourself. Then add water over the tray for the pellets to absorb and they will expand and be ready to plant in. Water them in the trays and watch your seeds grow.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

But any growing container will do just fine.

In addition to the essentials needed for starting seeds indoors, you might also want to get glow lights, a heat mat, and fertilizer. But these are not needed.

Location and Temperature

Seeds like warm temperatures to grow. This is why if you want to start them ahead of time, indoors works well. Warmer temperatures trigger the seeds that it is time to start growing and they will germinate and grow better than in colder temperatures. If you have a dark basement, seeds can still grow there with the proper equipment, like grow lights and a heat mat. 

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

How to Plant a Seed

- Fill your seed trays with a seed starting soil mix. Make sure the soil is loose and not packed in. If using peat pellets soak to get them so they expand and will be ready for planting. 

- Its convenient when sowing seeds to have the seeds from one vegetable in one hand and use the other hand for the actual planting.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors


- Make a hole in the soil first and gently press the seed into the soil to the correct planting depth. A good rule of them for planting depth is twice the side of the seed. 

- Gently cover each seed with soil and pack it down lightly to ensure the seed is covered. 

- Be sure to label what seeds you planted. I like to use popsicle sticks for an easy way to label.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors


Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors
My son helped with the labeling :)
- Water the seeds by putting water in the tray and it will be soaked up by the soil. Also use a spray bottle and mist the tops of the seed trays. If you want you can cover the seed trays with plastic wrap or the clear lid that comes with some of the kits. This will retain moisture and create a greenhouse effect and hold in some of the heat. Once the seeds have sprouted, you don't need to cover them any longer. 

-Keep the soil moist but not overly wet. 

-If the seedlings are growing near a window, occasionally you will need to turn the trays so the plants are exposed to sunlight on all sides and don't only grow and lean in one direction - toward the window.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

-  About a week before you plan to transplant the seedlings outside in your garden, you will need to harden them off. Hardening off is a term used in gardening for getting seedlings used to the outside. To do this, start by placing the seed trays outside for a couple hours each day. Increase the amount closer to the time of planting and eventually leaving them out all day.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

- Transfer your seedlings and plant them into your garden. 

Seed starting is a fun early season gardening project. It takes a little time but has huge rewards with leading to a bountiful harvest.

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors

Starting seeds indoors for the garden. A great way to save money and get a start on the gardening season. Tips on how to start seeds indoors to transplant outdoors



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