Starting Seeds from the Ground Up

– saving money!
– getting an early start on the growing season
– choosing from a large selection of seeds

Choosing the Right Containers:

Seeds can be started in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2-3” deep with drainage holes. 
– wide, shallow containers prevent both overcrowding of seedlings and excessive moisture around fragile, young roots. 
– containers must be clean or sterile.

– jiffy pellets and kits with individual growing cells. – plantable pot made of coca husks (These degradable pots are environmentally friendly and 100% peat free)

The Best Growing Medium:

Seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix, not in a garden soil. 
– a good growing mix for seedlings is a moist spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite.
– or an earth friendly growing medium such as coconut fibre

Choosing Your Seeds:

Purchase high quality seeds packed for the current year. Older seeds have reduced germination rates.
– most seeds should be started four to eight weeks prior to planting outdoors
– as seeds are planted, write it down! Write them on a label for each individual pot or a garden log providing a quick reminder for seeding for next year.

Seeds to start now Indoors:  tomatoes, peppers, leeks, eggplant, chrysanthemums, cosmos, hollyhocks, snapdragons

Seeds to start Outdoors (whenever your soil warms up and is workable):  carrots, lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas, beets, swiss chard, kale

Planting and Caring for your Seedlings:

  1. Prior to planting the growing mixture should be thoroughly moistened with warm water.
  2. Fill the containers to within 1/2’’ of the top, pack gently and fill again.
  3. Check seed packages for special germination conditions such as soaking seeds.
  4. Seeds to be planted to the depth as outlined on the package. Plant 1-2 seeds per each individual growing cell. Most seeds should be covered with a fine layer of soil.
  5. Gently moisten medium to ensure good contact between seeds and soil.
  6. Cover with a clear dome.

Temperature: an important trigger to seeds.
– nature causes each seed type to germinate at a certain temperature. Refer to the seed packets for the exact soil temperatures.

Lighting: critical factor when starting seeds indoors. Most seeds don’t require light to germinate. When they sprout put them into a south facing window. If one is not available, use specific grow lights.

Moisture:   Seeds must be kept moist after planting. However, allow the seedlings to dry out slightly before watering. 
– when seeds have sprouted, remove any plastic covering to reduce moisture and humidity levels
– Feed seedlings with a weak liquid fish emulsion fertilizer (5-1-1) solution three weeks after germination and continue weekly feedings until they are transplanted into the garden.

Transplanting: Before planting seedlings in the garden, they need to be hardened off. 
– gradually at least one week before planting, place seedlings on a sheltered porch or under a tree for a couple of hours each day
– protect them from too much wind or hot sun.
– this process prepares the plants for harsher outdoor conditions and ensures better survival rates in the garden.