I used to have difficulty starting seeds. Now, I’m a master. Well, maybe not that, but I’m certainly better than I was.
Here are my secrets:
- Use recycled plastic containers for your potting soil. My favorite containers are those that once held yogurt. They are the perfect size and it’s easy to transplant from these to larger pots. Stop the soil at about one and half inches from the lip of the container. This allows space for your seedlings.
- Plant 5-8 seeds in each container. Don’t plant them too deep; cover them lightly with soil. Water, but don’t drown your seeds. Next, cover the containers with plastic wrap. If you have rubber bands handy, you can slip a rubber band around the plastic wrap to hold it secure. If you don’t have rubber bands, wrap as tightly as you can. Once you have your plastic wrap in place, write with permanent marker on the wrap the name of the plant you’re trying to grow. When you are ready to remove the wrap, you can write the name on a Popsicle stick and insert it into the container. Keep all of your containers in a tray of some sort. This will keep your growing area tidy. Place the tray in a sunny spot (mine sits in a kitchen window). After 24 hours, you’ll notice that you created mini terrariums (self-contained atmospheres). Water gathers on the inside of the plastic wrap and keeps the container environment moist. Some seeds will sprout in as little as two days, others will need a bit more time.
- After seedlings are evident and pushing against the plastic, remove the plastic. Don’t forget your Popsicle stick. Allow your seedlings to mature. Once you think the small plants are hearty enough for the outdoors, transplant them to larger pots. This step is necessary to “season” your plants.
You’ll know when the plants are ready to move to the ground. If you’ve ever purchased plants from a nursery, you know the approximate size of a starter plant.
- Once your plant is in the ground, be sure to water it and watch it carefully over the next few weeks. New plants need extra attention.
- Before you know it, you’ll have hearty and healthy plants. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something in your garden that you started from seed. Nature is amazing. Every time I consider a big plant, once a seed the size of a pinhead, I’m awestruck!
Good luck out there. Let me know of your success if you have a moment.
Related post: Build your own compost bin.