How To Start Seeds Inside?
Starting your own seeds indoors can be an enjoyable way to start the gardening season early. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables you want to grow yourself , make sure and check the seeds package to give you an idea of when to plant. For instance , vegetables have different projected harvest times, therefore different planting times.
Purchasing your seeds
There are many sources from which you can purchase seeds. Hardware stores, Grocery stores , Local Garden Centers and Greenhouses ,and from any of the many seed catalogs, just to name a few. You can buy organic , heirloom , new hybrids , old favorites , there is so much to choose from. Any left over seeds can be saved until next years, just store them in a cool , dry , place. The refrigerator is a good place.
Planting your seeds
Here at Watch Us Grow recommend using the plastic flats with the single cells for each plant when growing from seed, this will eliminate the chances of injury to the seedlings that may occur if grown all together in a flat. Because you will have to separate them later for placement in a larger pot.
You should use commercial seed – starting mix, this will work well for germinating seeds, very lightweight and free of weed seed. Always water the mix before you plant your seed, the mix will sink down in the cells. Fill them back up to the top and water again, once the cells are full, then plant your seeds.
Watch them grow
When growing from seed, you will need to find the right place for growing your seeds, window sills are not a good place to do this. They can get to cold for seeds to germinate. Find a place that is free of drafts and traffic, it’s a good idea to have some sort of underneath heat , you can purchase heating mats from some of the many seed catalogs you may recieve or go to your local Garden Center. Seedlings do well under fluorescent lights, or you can use so called grow lights. But regular cool white bulbs are sufficient. Have your lighting no more than 4 inches above your plants.
Your seedlings will need 12 to 16 hours of light per day. Lack of light is the main reason plants become stringy or leggy. But it is a good idea to setup your lights on a timer, the plants do need some darkness to develop properly.
Water and feed
You will want to keep the potting mix moist at all times, the best way to do this is with a spray bottle, just mist the cells. Seedlings draw energy for germination from the nutrients stored in the seed therefore no feeding is needed until the seedlings have several leaves on them. Then we recommend you use “Watch Us Grow” all purpose liquid plant food at a rate of 1/2 tblsp per gallon of water.
Mist the foliage with your spray bottle. repeat every 14 days.
When your plants outgrow their cells you will want to transplant them to a larger pot, be careful with seedling
it is still very delicate.
The next step takes place approximately 2 weeks before planting in the garden. It’s called “hardening off” there are a couple of different ways this can be done. You can bring your plants outside for a couple of hours at a time or put them in a cold frame.
After they are accustom to the outdoors it’s time to plant them in the garden, remember to water them in with a solution of “Watch Us Grow” all purpose liquid plant food , 1 ounce per gallon of water. Then foliar feed them the same solution every 10 to 14 days throughout the growing season.
Thank You to all of our gardener friends and we really appreciate your support. Please contact us anytime with any questions about growing from seed or how to start seeds indoors, The Watch Us Grow Team
Spring, when we gardeners start thinking about digging in the soil. Soil preparation is critical to succesful gardens. Plants receive many of their nutrients from the soil, so building your soil up to a point of it being beneficial is important. This does not happen overnight, you should be adding composted material to your soil consistently.
We as gardeners are lucky, we have a simple and low cost solution to our number one problem in the garden….. Yes, compost is easy to obtain and we all produce the materials used in the making of it daily. Much of our common kitchen waste makes for wonderful compost, also lawn clippings and leaves.
Another good source is animal manure, but it must be composted or it will likely do harm to your plants due to the fact that fresh manure is high in ammonia. Fresh manure can be applied to your gardens in the fall and by spring will be perfect for you to plant.
Most plant material after being composted is beneficial. Peat moss is always a good addition to the soil. Now that your soil is prepped and ready to go for another season you need plants. If you choose to buy plants, we recommend going to your local independent Garden Center or Greenhouse, they will have knowledgeable people that can answer any questions you may have. When choosing your plants don’t automatically think you should get the biggest one. Look for a full , lush and sometimes smaller plant with tight buds [if it’s a flowering plant].
Remember to always look your plants over carefully,mainly keep a close eye out for bugs, you don’t need to bring any of them home with you. As far as planting your plants, the labels will tell you whether you should place them in the sun or the shade. Once they are planted feed regularly with a balanced liquid plant food. We suggest Watch Us Grow all purpose liquid plant food.
Thank You to all of our gardener friends and we really appreciate your support. Please contact us anytime with any questions, The Watch Us Grow Team