Hello vegetable producers…it’s seed starting time!
February to early March is the time to start thinking about getting your greenhouse ready to start your onions, peppers, herbs, and tomato seeds. These particular plants can take up to 10 -14 weeks until they are ready to transplant to your garden, raised beds, or containers. If you do not have greenhouse facilities, don’t fret! You can start your seeds in a sunny place in your home.
People spend lots of money at their local garden centers or nurseries buying vegetable plants for their gardens. Did you know can grow your own vegetable plants yourself for very little money? By starting your own plants from seed, you can garden for just pennies on the dollar. (Plus, starting your own seeds is really quite fun and a great skill to have.)
The best way to get started is to purchase some quality heirloom seeds from us here at Heirloom Solutions and dive right in. You’ll also need something to start your seeds in:
- Starting trays
- Old egg cartons
- Yogurt cups or sour cream cartons
- Toilet paper tubes (or paper towel tubes cut into thirds)
- Ice cube trays
Pretty much anything that resembles a small pot size will work as long as it allows for some drainage. Make sure to poke a few small holes in the bottoms of your “pots” for this very reason. Next, get some good potting soil, but make sure no fertilizer is added to it. Choose lighter potting soil over heavy gardening soil if at all possible. For starting seeds, you just want plain, nice quality potting soil or a seed starting mix. You can even make your own seed starting mix by combining the following in equal parts: 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss.
Plant your seeds taking care to follow the planting instructions on the seed packet. Place your seeds in or near a sunny window and watch them take off and grow! If you don’t have a sunny location in the house, you can purchase inexpensive grow lights to help your seedlings get off to a great start. (More information about that in a future article, so stay tuned!) Water your seedlings as needed – they need to stay moist but do not water too much or they’ll get soggy and rot. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the soil always feels slightly damp, but never “wet.”
The only way to be a good plant producer is to practice, practice, practice! Remember back when you first started driving a car, or the first time you tried waterskiing or down hill skiing? I’m going to guess you were not very good. Nobody is an expert overnight. The same goes for plant production. So jump in there and start growing! Don’t be scared, do some research, ask us questions and just do it. Before you know it you will be growing your own food and sharing with others the wonderful gift of food.
In the next few weeks here at Heirloom Solutions, we’ll be sharing more information with you about how to start your seeds with success. We’d love to hear your tips, too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your seed starting tips and tricks.
Good Luck and Good Gardening!
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