Your garden may be covered by tons of snow, but now is the time to consider starting flowers and vegetables from seed. Starting your plants from seed is fun to try and can be a relatively inexpensive way to get lots of plants. No garden center can have every plant started for you so seeds let you do it yourself. The most important things you need to get started are planting containers, seed starting soil, a warm spot, a good light source and of course, SEEDS!
You want to have a space that can get a little wet and dirty and is at least 60 degrees or warmer. Growing plants by a window may seem like a great idea, but unless you have the perfect south facing window and are starting just a few plants, you may end up with spindly plants and floppy stems. Artificial light from an inexpensive shop light placed just above the newly planted seeds can do the trick.
Cell flats make the perfect container to start your new plants, but fiber pots, small cups and other types of containers will do the job too. Drainage is a must! Fill your containers with a sterile planting medium like Fertilome’s Seed Starting Mix and plant the seeds according to the directions on the packages. The seed pack will also give you guidelines for when to start your seeds.
Once the seeds are planted, place your seed flats under the lights. Keep the lights on for 14 – 16 hours a day. As your seedlings grow, raise the lights so they are 2-4 inches above the tallest leaves. Be sure to keep your seedlings moist, but not too wet. Plastic domes are available to help keep moisture in and a spray bottle works great for watering. Once it gets closer to planting time your seedlings will need to be taken outdoors for increasing amounts of time to acclimate them to the light and outdoor conditions.
Sargent’s Nursery has a full selection of garden seeds to get you thinking spring. We offer flower and vegetable seeds for starting early indoors or right in the garden plus all of the seed starting trays, soils and fertilizers too. For more information on when to start your seeds, stop in at Sargent’s and our knowledgeable staff can get you going in the right direction.