1. Choose a container.
Seed-starting containers should be clean, measurement at least 2-3 inches deep and have drain holes. They can be plastic pots, cell packs, peat pots, plastic flats, yogurt cups, evening eggshells. american samoa long as they are clean ( souse in a 9 parts body of water to one contribution family bleach for 10 minutes ), the options are endless. You can besides buy seed-starting kits, but do n’t invest a batch of money until you ‘re indisputable you ‘ll be starting seeds every year. If you start seeds in very small containers or plastic flats, you ‘ll need to transplant seedlings into slightly larger pots once they have their inaugural fructify of true leaves. Keep in heed that flats and pots take up board, thus make sure you have enough cheery space for all the seedlings you start .
2. Start with quality soil.
Sow seeds in sterile, seed-starting mix or potting dirty available in nurseries and garden centers. Do n’t use garden dirt, it ’ s besides heavy, contains weeds seeds, and possibly, disease organisms. Wet the soil with warm water before filling seed-starting containers.
3. Plant at the proper depth.
You ’ ll find the proper implant depth on the source packet. The general rule of finger is to cover seeds with territory equal to three times their thickness – but be sure to read the seed mailboat planting instructions carefully. Some seeds, including certain lettuces and snapdragons, need light to germinate and should rest on the soil surface but still be in good liaison with damp dirty. Gentle tamping after sowing will help. After planting your seeds, use a spray bottle to wet the territory again .
4. Water wisely.
Always use room-temperature water. Let chlorinate water system sit overnight thus chlorine can dissipate or use distill water. Avoid using soften urine. It ‘s significant to keep dirt systematically damp, but avoid overwatering, which promotes diseases, that can kill seedlings. Try not to splash water on leaves. An easy way to avoid this – vitamin a well as overwatering – is to dip base of your containers in water and allow the dirty to absorb moisture from the bottom until damp. Some seed-starting kits supply a wicking master of arts in teaching that conducts water from a reservoir to dry land. This may be the most goofproof method of watering seedlings but you still have to be careful that the land doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate stay excessively wet. Whatever you do, do n’t miss a water and let seeds or seedlings dry out. It ’ s a death sentence .
5. Maintain consistent moisture.
Prior to germination, cover your container to help trap moisture inside. Seed-starting kits typically come with a fictile screen. You can besides use a plastic bag, but it should be supported so it doesn ’ triiodothyronine lay flat on the soil. Remove covers arsenic soon as seeds sprout. Once seedlings are growing, reduce watering so land partially dry, but don ’ t let them wilt.
6. Keep soil warm.
Seeds need warm dirty to germinate. They germinate slower, or not at all, in soils that are besides cool. Most seeds will germinate at around 78°F. Waterproof heating mats, designed specifically for germinating seeds, keep territory at a constant temperature. You can buy them in most nurseries and garden centers. Or, you can place source trays on top of a refrigerator or other warm appliance until seeds sprout. After germination, publicize temperature should be slenderly below 70°F. Seedlings can withstand vent temperature ampere broken angstrom 50°F adenine long as dirt temperature remains 65-70°F .
Start feeding your seedlings after they develop their second bent of genuine leaves, applying a half-strength liquid fertilizer weekly. Apply it gently so seedlings are not dislodged from the territory. After four weeks, apply neat liquid fertilizer every other workweek until transplanting.
8. Give seedlings enough light.
not enough easy leads to leggy, grandiloquent seedlings that will struggle once transplant outdoors. In meek winter areas, you can grow compact seedlings in a bright south-facing window. Farther north, flush a south-facing windowpane may not provide enough light, specially in the middle of winter. Ideally, seedlings need 14-16 hours of address light per day for healthy increase. If seedlings begin bending toward the window, that ’ s a certain sign they are not getting enough light. Simply turning the pots won ’ t be enough – you may need to supply artificial light up. Nurseries and mail holy order seed catalogs can provide lighting kits. Follow instructions carefully .
9. Circulate the air.
Circulating air helps prevents disease and encourages the development of potent stems. Run a ennoble fan near seedlings to create air bowel movement. Keep the fan a outdistance away from the seedlings to avoid blasting them immediately .
10. Harden off seedlings before transplanting outdoors.
Before moving seedlings outdoors, they need to be acclimatized to their new, harsh surroundings. This procedure is called “ hardening off. ” Click here to learn more .