How to start seeds

1.Starting plants from seed is less expensive 2.There are many more varieties to choose from 3.You can grow higher-quality plants 4.You will get to enjoy the simple satisfaction of growing your own plants from seed to harvest.To be successful, you'll need to provide the right conditions for good germination and healthy growth.

Choosing the right containersYou can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2 to 3 inches deep and has some drainage holes.

The Best Growing MediumTo provide the optimum growing conditions, and to avoid disease and insect problems, seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix, not in garden soil. A good blend is fine-textured, moist and spongy.Remember that soilless mixes contain few, if any, nutrients. You will need to start feeding your seedlings with liquid fertilizer a few weeks after they germinate, and continue until you transplant them into the garden.After your seedlings are six to eight weeks old, you can transplant them into larger pots with a coarser growing medium

Planting and caring for your seedlings,The growing medium should be thoroughly moistened before it is placed in your seed-starting containers (warm water works best). Fill the trays or containers to within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top. You are now ready to sow your seeds. But before you do so, take another look at the seed packet for any special information about pre-chilling, pre-soaking, a preference for light or darkness, or special temperature requirements. Seeds can either be scattered on the soil surface or placed individually into each growing cell. Resist the temptation to sow too thickly. Most seeds should be covered with a fine layer of soil. Unless the seeds require light to germinate (such as snapdragons), or are too tiny to tolerate being covered (such as petunias), you should cover the seeds to about three times their thickness.Again, read the seed packet for planting instructions. Gently moisten the growing medium (using a mister or with dribbles of water) to ensure good contact between the seeds and the soil. Label each flat, row, or container with a wood or plastic marker so you can identify them later. Save the seed packet for reference.

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