Guide: Starting Seeds Indoors
Even though winter still has us in its clutches, the first day of spring has come and gone. That means no more snow right? Then again, this is New England. But just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on spring. Starting seeds indoors is one of the most exciting things about spring. It’s a promise for good weather and a healthy option if you’re growing vegetables and herbs. Here are a few suggestions for what can be started now, and what can be started soon:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
It’s still a bit early for tomatoes to be started indoors, but we are getting closer to that planting period. Be sure to read the backs of your seed packets – they’re loaded with extra information! We carry Burpee and Botanical Interest seeds, both high-quality brands in flower, herb, and vegetable seeds. You can read up on even more information about these brands at their websites: Burpee and Botanical Interests.
How to Germinate Seeds
Seeds require bright light, so be sure to place your seeds in a sunny, south-facing window. If you don’t have a sunny, south-facing window, consider investing in some grow lights and a timer. Set the timer for 15 hours a day, and your seeds will grow fantastically.
Purchase a seed tray or recycle yogurt cups, milk cartons, or paper cups. Seed trays have the convenience of drainage holes, they’re easy to fill, and they’re inexpensive.
Choose a seed-starting potting soil. Don’t use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants to save money. Using a seed-starting mix is the best way to ensure healthy, disease-free plants. We recommend Espoma Organic Seed Starter for all types of seeds.
Follow the instructions on the seed packet to determine seed-planting depth. Each type of seed is different. Some can be planted on top of the soil, and some need to be planted in it. Your seed packets will tell you the recommended planting depth.
Keep the soil evenly watered. Never let the surface soil dry out. The seeds need the moisture to begin sprouting. Usually watering once a day will make sure they stay hydrated. The excess water will drain out of the bottom of the tray, so be sure to have some kind of plastic tray underneath to catch it and save your furniture. Cover the tray to lock in heat and moisture, but be sure to remove it every so often to avoid mold and to give your seedlings some air.