10 Easy Steps for Growing Your Own Seeds!
• Find some trays or pots
Trays and pots with drainage are a good idea but to protect your furniture you can set them inside a tray with no drainage holes.
- Fill the seed tray with seed compost
Use a good quality seed starting mix. Lightly tamp it down evenly.
- Moisten the surface of the compost
You can use a mister bottle or a watering can with small holes for an even, gentle shower.
- Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the compost
Be sure to follow the package directions. Some seeds need to be covered with soil (no deeper than twice the diameter of the seed usually) and some seeds need to just remain on the soil surface. You can give another spritz of water once you have added more soil. Also some seeds require a pre-germination treatment such as soaking overnight in a glass of water like morning glories for example.
- Cover the seed Tray
Plastic domes are great because they allow the light to come in while keeping the environment around the seeds humid, helping them to germinate.
- Place the seed tray in a warm place
Different seeds require different soil temperatures to germinate. Soil temperature is usually about 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding air temperature. Most seed packets have all of this information on the back.
- Uncover the seedlings once they germinate
Once the seeds have germinated they need air flow. Leaving the humidity dome on would cause the young plants to rot. If you are growing on a sunny windowsill it’s a good idea to turn the tray once a day so all plants can receive an equal amount of light. Using grow lights can alleviate this problem however they are not necessarily a requirement.
- Transplant the seedlings
Transplanting is always the fun part. Typically the best time to transplant is when the plants have started to grow their first set of true leaves and are about 1.5” – 2” tall. If you wait until they are taller they become spindly and tend to not stand up as straight. At this point you can water with a water soluble fertilizer that promotes root growth such as 10-52-10 (high middle number). Be sure to follow the package directions when mixing.
- Hardening off
Once the transplants are large enough to be planted in their permanent location they need to be hardened off. This means getting them used to the outdoor environment. In the house they had a nice even temperature and no wind to contend with. Let them sit outdoors in the same pots they are in now for about a week before you actually transplant them into the ground or a planter. Going from indoors to the ground or planter all at once would be too much of a shock.
- Plant out into the flowering position
Now your plant babies are finally ready for the ground or planter. Make sure that nighttime temperatures are not going to dip down close to zero. One night of frost can ruin all of your efforts.
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