Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tutorial: Starting Seeds for the Garden

Dear Kate,
It's time to start thinking about the garden, so that is what we did last week! We decided to plant our seeds indoors so that they'll be ready to move into the garden in 6-8 weeks or possibly the hoop house sooner than that. This is how we did it.

I started with a flat planting tray, potting soil, seeds, a pencil, and Popsicle sticks to mark my rows and label the seeds. Some of the planting trays have holes, so if you get one that does, make sure something is put under it to catch any water.

After filling the tray with potting soil, we pushed a pencil down to leave an impression in the dirt to plant our seeds in.

We placed the seeds in the impression spacing only about 1/2" apart. We will later move the small plants to containers so they will have more space for growing. We will only transplant the best plants at that time, so I am not to particular about numbers and spacing at this point.

After covering the seeds with soil, we write on the Popsicle stick what we planted and then place at the beginning of where those seeds are. I usually break the stick in half to make them more manageable. Then we sprinkle them carefully with water...a spray bottle works great. Be careful not to wash away your seeds!

We put them in front of the window that gets the most sun. South facing would be ideal, but we don't have one, so we use our west window. We also added a fluorescent light this year to see how that works. It is on during our waking hours. We also covered them with a plastic cover that came with the tray. It helps to keep them moist, I haven't watered them since planting.

This is how they look after five days! Some are looking good and others haven't sprouted, but should soon. I planted squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, cucumbers, cauliflower, pumpkins, peppers (several types), tomatoes (several types), gourds and sunflowers. I'll post again when we're ready to transplant.
Happy Gardening!


Rebekah said...

Thanks for the tips. This looks like a good project to get the little hands going on with me. You were very thorough with your instructions, good job.

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

I am so glad I stumbled upon this post! I am actually in the process of planning our garden, and we were just talking last night about how it is time to get started if we're going to grow our own plants from seed this year. Thanks so much for the information!

Amy said...

Amy: Rebekah, my three year old loved helping...it was a great project for him and he loves watching the daily progress.

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