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Monday, February 1, 2016

Seed Starting

This is a post that I did in 2010 and I copied it from my old blog.  Just figured since it is going to be seed starting time, I would refresh this post for anyone who many be learning how to start their own seeds.

So here is how I start all my seeds. I pretty much start all my seeds the same way. The only exceptions would be things like vines which I start in pots instead of flats, certain types of seeds that do not need to be covered with dirt, and a few other exceptions.

Below is a list of some things you may need:
Seed Starting Dirt
Warm Water
Popsicle Sticks - for marking
Gloves (if you don't want to get your hands dirty, I don't use gloves for anything but that's just me.)
Container to plant in - I use flats, but you can use just about anything, just poke some holes in the bottom for drainage.
Seeds (of coarse!)
Spray bottle
Sphagnum Moss
Cling Wrap
Tiny hair clips (come in handy for keeping the cling wrap from touching the dirt.)

1. First thing I do is wet my dirt, before planting, with warm water. Just be sure not to get too wet.

2. Once dirt is wet I transfer the dirt into the flat I will be planting in, you can use whatever you wish to plant in some people use styrofoam cups, any kind of used food containers, you can use your imagination. I am not a fan of peat pots or pellets, to me they seem to be difficult to keep from getting too wet and too dry. If you do use peat pots or pellets be sure to tear off some of the pot or netting before planting because you could end up with a problem like this.

3. Then I pat down the dirt.

4. I use popsicle sticks to mark my rows and varieties planted.

5. After I place the popsicle sticks where my rows will be, I use another popsicle stick to make my rows. For seeds that do not need to be covered, I sometimes just scatter the seeds in their area without making rows, and mark the section with a popsicle stick in the dirt as a divider.

6. Place the seeds in the rows.

7. Cover the seeds, by pushing extra dirt on sides of rows over seeds. If you are unsure of how much to cover the seeds it is always better to not over cover the seeds. For most of my seeds I either just barely cover (1/4" on package) or do not cover at all (1/8" on package). If the package states to cover with a 1/8" of dirt I do not cover with dirt at all and just cover with sphagnum moss. If it states to not cover at all I do not cover with dirt or sphagnum moss.

8. Pat down the dirt after covering the seeds.

9. Once I have all my seeds planted, I then cover with a layer of sphagnum moss.

10. Spray with a spray bottle to wet sphagnum moss, spray slowly at first the sphagnum moss will fly everywhere if you don't.

11. I then cover with cling wrap, and use tiny hair clips to keep the cling wrap form touching the dirt. Check every day some seeds will come up within a couple of days. When the seedlings begin to pop up I remove the cling wrap. If some varieties come up and others have not I will sometimes put a plastic dome on the flat for a couple of days to give the unsprouted seeds some more time with extra warmth. You do not want the seedlings to be touching the plastic, so remove once they get to tall.

I place my flats under lights right away. Most seeds do not need light to sprout but the lights give them extra warmth that can greatly speed up the germination process. If the instructions on the package say do not cover the seeds chances are those seeds need light to germinate.

The seeds that I planted in the above flat were cherry tomato seeds. I will be sure to post a picture once they have sprouted and as they grow.

There are so many different methods to start seeds. Everyone has there own way that works best for them. If you are going to be starting seeds of your own, happy seed starting!
Now back to work, planting more seeds.

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