Seed Starting Made Simple:
Growing plants from seed can be rewarding, and can save money. But where to start? When to start? It’s fun to look through seed catalogues, oogling all the pictures of the colorful flowers and vegetables, but then what? When should I start them? How should I start them? In this edition of The Weekly Word, we will help you get started with the process, and share some handy tips. Although geared towards the beginner, we will also include links to helpful web pages that will get into the subject in more detail.
Step 1: What do you want to grow?
Do you want to enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables this summer? Do you want to taste the difference that fresh cut herbs can make in your cooking? Or do you want to grow annuals for your garden? Deciding on your goal before you open a catalogue or click on a website is important, otherwise you will find yourself buried alive in seed packets, as there is such a gorgeous buffet of seed choices out there that it’s a real effort to stop clicking “add to cart”- you have been warned!
When you have decided what your focus is, it’s time to order some seeds. Here are some of our favorite mail order seed companies:
And don’t forget your local Garden Center!
Step 2: Where will you grow the seeds?
A warm, sunny space is all you really need to grow healthy plants. A sunny, south facing window will work; grow lights are ideal because you can regulate the amount of light that they get. One thing to keep in mind is that plants should be kept a few inches back from the window panes if possible, as cold can be transmitted through the glass and lower the temperature around the plant and make it too cold for them to grow properly. If you decide to use a grow light, it doesn’t have to be a huge investment. They can be made from supplies that are readily available. Here is a link to an article that shows you how to build one out of PVC pipe.
If you decide to buy one, there are many options available. Click here to see a great selection of grow lights that are available from Gardener’s Supply.
Once you have decided what you want to grow and where you want to grow it, the next thing to do will be to figure out when to plant the seeds so that the plants are ready to go in the ground at the right time. In our next blog entry we will help de-mystify the scheduling aspect of seed starting, and then you will be good to grow!
Any questions so far? Be sure to post any questions in the comments section and we will answer you promptly!