Gardening — 30 May 2013

Getting seeds started indoors before transplanting them outdoors requires a little bit of forethought, but has the following advantages:

  1. The seeds get a good nutrient rich soil to start in.
  2. Having the seeds start indoors (or a greenhouse) allows you to protect the plant from cold weather (frost).
  3. Transplanting allows your vegetable plants to have a head start against weeds.

Over the weekend we transplanted the following plants into a seed starter:

  • Cantaloupe (Hearts of gold)
  • Watermelon (Sugar baby)
  • Pumkin (Big Max)
  • Peppers (Grill master hybrid)
  • Sunflowers (Mammoth)

My mouth starts to water just thinking about the harvest we will get from it.  We used a 72 cell mini-greenhouse seed starter made by NK Plantation Products, but there are plenty of containers that would work for this.

2013-05-27_14-26-13_16Here are the steps that we followed to start the seeds to germinate indoors.

  1. We filled the pots with a seed starting mix potting soil.  This helps the seeds start in a nutrient rich soil that will help the seeds germinate and the plant grow.  The plastic pots have holes on the bottom that allow for any excess water to drain out the bottom.  You might consider using old yogurt cups.  A cheap container will allow you to break or cut it open to get the plant out.
  2. We watered the soil.  Once the soil is moist, you want to keep it moist for the seed to germinate.
  3. With the eraser end of a pencil we poked a hole in the potting soil for the seed.  The depth depended on the seed.  Some were only 1/4 inch while others were 1 inch deep.
  4. We dropped a couple of seeds into each hole.
  5. We filled the holes and covered the seeds with more potting soil.
  6. We added some more water to the top of each pot.  This ensures the soil and seeds are moist.
  7. Don’t forget to label what plants are in each container.  I used cardboard strips to label each row.

2013-05-27_14-10-08_641A plastic film or cover over the top helps to keep the moisture in.  This isn’t a necessary item, but you’ll need to keep the soil moist.  Once the plants start to poke up out of the soil, we will remove the plastic “greenhouse” covering and move to a sunny spot next to the window.

Sunny spot

Sunny spot

Before the seeds are transplanted into the garden outside, we will bring the pots outside for a few hours each day to “harden” the plants to the weather.  This will help the survival rate of the transplants in their new environment.

I hope this helps you as you start your indoor seeds.  Best of luck on your Antireliant projects!

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Ben

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