Buying potted plants can be expensive. Most plants, fortunately, can be started from seeds, providing a much less expensive way to populate your garden. Each plant has different requirements for starting seeds indoors. However, the general procedure for growing seedlings in a garden is the same. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take to start seedlings indoors.
When selecting seeds at a garden center, choose varieties that are well-suited to the growing season of your location. Ensure your plants will have enough time to mature before transplantation. Cool-season plants like lettuces, cosmos, marigolds and spinach are brilliant choices since they grow quickly and need little light.
When selecting seedlings ensure you look for those that are organic and also check the germination rate. Germination rate is the percentage of the seedlings that will actually sprout, so look for seedlings with the highest rate.
Preparing the Soil
Preparing the soil is essential while starting seeds indoors. Ensure your soil is light so that the seedlings can easily absorb water and nutrients. To do this, mix in organic materials such as compost, peat moss, or vermiculite. These materials will help to provide nutrients for your seedlings.
After preparing the soil, wet it down until it’s damp but not soggy. Allow the soil to sit for a few hours to ensure that it’s properly hydrated.
Choosing the Right Containers
When starting seedlings indoors you may be required to use small pots, such as peat pots or egg cartons. Ensure you choose a container that is well-drained so that water can flow out of the bottom and not accumulate in the soil. Containers with poor drainage can cause root rot. Ensure the containers are deep enough to accommodate your plants as they grow.
Adequate Light Conditions
When starting seedlings indoors, ensure there is adequate light. Most plants need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day, so it is important to place your containers near a window or in an area that gets plenty of natural light. If you don’t have access to natural light, you can always use a grow light to provide the right amount of light for your plants.
When watering your plants, check the soil first to ensure it is neither too wet nor too dry. Rain is by far the best source of water that you can give your plants since it contains minerals that are necessary for plant growth. To enable the seedlings to soak up water through the container’s drainage holes, water your plants from the base of the plant, rather than from the shoot. Be sure to use a watering can with a long spout so you can water your plants without disturbing the soil.
Proper Temperature and Airflow
The temperature of the room where you are starting your seeds should be between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also important to make sure that your plants have adequate air circulation.
Fertilizing your plants will ensure that they have the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Use a balanced fertilizer or one high in nitrogen and potassium to encourage good roots and healthy growth.
Once your seedlings have grown to a size where they can be handled, it is time to transplant them. Ideally, seedlings should be at least twice as tall as their starter trays so that would be about 3-4″ tall. Choose a pot that is a few inches larger than your original container and fill it with fresh soil. Gently remove the seedling from the original container and place it in the new one. Water the new pot and place it in a sunny spot.
Get Started with a Trip to Clarks Ace Hardware
We have a wide selection of supplies to help you successfully start your seeds indoors. From soil and seed trays to grow lights and irrigation systems, Clarks Ace Hardware has everything you need to get your garden off to a great start. For more gardening tips, read our blog about how to keep your houseplants alive and thriving.