Start seeds now to get a jump on spring!
If you want unique annuals and vegetables in your garden this season, now is the time to shop for seeds at garden centers or mailorder companies.
Here are three methods of starting seeds indoors:
Containers from home. Sow seeds in plastic cups, margarine tubs, or yogurt cups with holes punched in the bottoms to drain excess moisture. Put containers on a waterproof tray. Cover with plastic wrap and keep out of direct sun until seeds germinate.
Peat pellets. Drop compressed pellets into warm water until they expand. Plant seeds in the expanded pellets and place in tray with plastic dome. When seedlings emerge, remove the plastic dome. As seedlings and roots mature, plant pellets in a pot or in the ground.
Self-watering seed starter. Kit includes a seed tray, capillary mat, growing stand, and water reservoir with a clear cover. Some also include markers, fertilizer, soil, and water indicators. The capillary mat provides even bottom watering by wicking water from the reservoir. There’s enough water in the reservoir to keep seedlings moist for about five days.
• Use a sterilized, soilless mix to discourage soil-borne fungal diseases.
• Moisten medium before putting into containers.
• Place a fluorescent bulb 3 to 4 inches above seedlings to provide enough light. (Incandescent lights give off too much heat.)
• Water seedlings from the bottom to discourage damping off.
• Fertilize seedlings once they have some true leaves.
Monday, March 14, 2011 11:46 AM
my tomato plants are growing tall ,what can i do to stop them from dending over?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 7:35 PM
tie them up with cloth ties from old t-shirt or your grils panty hose to move as the plant gets big.
Monday, April 25, 2011 2:31 PM
Go to Home Depot they have the 8ft wood steaks, they are 99cents each and well worth it. I use the garden twine, but cloth ties do just as well.
Friday, May 06, 2011 1:28 PM
What can I do to make sure my seedlings are getting enough light? They are in a small greenhouse with sun exposure for 8 hrs or so, and when we have cloudy weather (frequently) they are under 60 watt grow lights and surrounded by tin foil. For some reason they are becoming paler in color and seem to be stalled in their growth. I won't be able to put most of them outside for another week or so...
Saturday, June 11, 2011 5:20 PM
Light is too far away if you are talking about Tomato plant seedlings. I understand the light has to be very close to keep them from going long legged.
Saturday, September 17, 2011 3:21 PM
everytime i grow seeds, and then try to move outside into my garden, they die. I have a raised veg garden, and I've tried 3x to move lettuce that has about 1" growth into the garden and it wilts and dies. What am I doing wrong?
Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:02 PM
I tried growing my tomatoes, peppers and flowers from seed for the first time last Spring. it was very frustrating, but I was determined to make it work, because I had carefully purchased varieties of tomatoes for canning that I could not find at the garden centers here. I wanted to get a head start on an early garden, but ended up buying some plants out of fear that mine wouldn't make it. In the long run, the plants grown from seed were far healthier than the plants I bought. I was not at all successful with the flowers, because I didn't have the proper lighting close to the plants, and the were too "tall and leggy". I was constantly propping the plants up. I was just very determined to make it work , and my
Sunday, January 08, 2012 7:04 PM
The things that make the biggest difference for me are adequate - and close enough - light, and consistent watering - from the bottom if possible. I use a spray bottle at first to moisten the soil from the top and to prevent crust formation that could hinder germination, but then water the tray under the plants from then on. It is really important to get the seed starting medium moistened all the way through before putting it in the seed trays. It is almost impossible to get it to wick up water or absorb water sprayed on top if you don't! (learned the hard way!) Another gardener recommended mixing it well in a bucket and then loading the seed trays. That works well.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:17 AM
james167...I suspect that you are putting the lettuce out right into the sunshine when in fact they should be in mostly shaded spot for about 7 to 10 days in order to get used to being outside
Thursday, January 12, 2012 1:15 AM
Hints for starting seeds. Ran a hort therapy program for 9 yrs. The smaller or finer the seed just sew it on the top of the starting medium and do not put any medium over it. Make sure medium is moist but not soaked. Do not pres the seeds into the medium. Cover with a plastic dome, plexiglass or thin window glass. If you don't have any of these use some form of plastic wrap that will fit tight and not sag or hit the medium. To prevent dampening off give constant ventalation by cuting the plexiglass or glass so that the ends of the tray are open at each end by an inch or so and hang just over the side edge to stay on the tray or cut so the the long edge is just open. If useing a dome or plastic wrap open AM & PM for about 15 min to allow extra moisture to exscape. It never hurts to put the tray on a heat pad or on sand about 1 in thick with a heat cable under the sand. Be sure to use insulated staples if useing them to keep the cable down and flat. A home made hanging stand of wood can be made to hand a 4 ft shop light on with light adjustable link chain for a light source. Good luck.
Thursday, February 16, 2012 2:47 PM
James 167: Do you gradually get your plants adjusted to outside temps? I put mine out for afew hours during sunny days, and grandually increase it, so the do not get culture shock. Here, in Alaska it is oimportant to do that. For us, some things just have to be grown under tunnels or plastic (such as cucumbers, beans, squash, and tomatoes inside or a greenhouse), as it just gets too cool at night. We do have a few varieties that can be grown close to buildings for shelter.
Happy 2012 Growing Season!
Friday, February 07, 2014 8:06 PM
All comments where good and informative I might add when transplanting besure to put a little water in hole to keep air pockets out from around the tender roots.Keep all the blooms pinched off of your tomatoe and pepper plants util they get taller and make sure you prune all the suckers off that is all the limbs that don't bear blooms.