I don't know about you, but there's nothing that says Spring to me like starting my seedlings! I can look out my window and see the snow covered ground and know that it won't last much longer. Farmer's Almanac says I can start most of my seeds by the end of this month. So, I guess it's time to pull out my Heritage Seeds Catalogue and get my order in.
In the past, I have started my garden under grow lights in the basement but this year, I am moving them to the main level under my sunroom windows. I usually just start saving cardboard egg cartons in the Fall and just put them on a shoe tray to catch the water and any stray dirt. Home Depot in Omaha has some great seed starting supplies if this is your first time to try jumpstarting your garden inside.
The following information comes directly from the Farmer's Almanac website. They have additional information on transplanting, etc. Check it out by clicking here.
HOW TO START SEEDS
- Fill clean containers with a potting mix made for seedlings. Use soilless peat moss and mix in equal parts vermiculite and perlite to hold enough water and allow oxygen to flow. Don’t use regular potting soil.
- Pour soilless mix into a large bucket and moisten with warm water. Fill your containers to just below the rim.
- Plant your seeds according to your seed packet. Most seeds can simply be gently pressed into the mixture; you can use the eraser end of a pencil to push in seeds. When planting seeds, plant the largest seeds in the package to get the best germination rate.
- Cover containers with plastic. Prick holes with a toothpick for ventilation. Water as directed.
- Water newly started seedlings carefully. A pitcher may let the water out too forcefully. A mist sprayer is gentle but can take a long time. Try using a meat-basting syringe, which will dispense the water effectively without causing too much soil disruption.
- Find a place in the kitchen where there is natural bottom heat—on top of the refrigerator or near the oven. (Move the tray if the oven is on, as it may become too hot.)
- Seeds sprout best at temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C).
- When seedlings appear, remove the plastic and move containers into bright light.
- When the seedlings get their second pair of leaves, prepare individual pots filled with a potting mix with plenty of compost. Move the seedlings carefully to the new pots and water well. Keep pots out of direct sun for a few days.