I am not sure if there is a better way to do this but this is what I found really helped me this year in starting veggie plants.
We wanted to plant our own organic seeds again this year for many of the everyday veggies we eat to help save some money and get fresher food. We decided to grow Kale, a couple types of tomatoes, spinach, peppers, beans, lettuce, chard, zucchini and cucumbers. For some of these we were able to start the seeds early indoors and get them going enough so the growing time will be less once we put them in the ground a bit later on in the spring.
The first thing we did when planting the seeds was try egg cartons as well as 3 inch deep square pots made for sprouting. We moistened the potting soil, planted the seed about 1/4″ deep or based on proper growing instructions and then covered them with saran wrap and kept them warm. For many of the seeds it took them a very long time to sprout with a bit of moistening everyday. I will be honest, this kind of surprised me as I would have expected many of them to sprout much faster. In the case of the peppers they did no sprout at all! But then we found a solution!
We were at the hardware store and came across a Jiffy brand seed starting kit. Its basically a plastic container with a lid and it comes with soil pucks that expand when you soak them. For $6.50 we could start 36 seeds… we figured we couldn’t go wrong. So we bought 73 of them. Kidding, just one. We got it home and I’m not gonna lie I was pretty excited about how this would turn out. We planted zucchini seeds and those darn peppers seeds that wouldn’t sprout. The zucchini seeds took ONE DAY to poke their heads out and by the 2nd day they were ready for their own small pot. I was shocked, but the best was still to come. By the 3rd day the peppers were starting to sprout and I thought “oh cool, we will actually get some pepper plants.” But when I went back on the 4th day, the pepper plants were hitting the roof of the sprouting container! These bad boys were wanting out and into sunlight so bad they were ready to tear the roof off! We quickly put them into pots and they have been thriving since.
So what tips do I have for starting your seeds? If you don’t have a better way, try out one of those Jiffy kits. They are very cheap and easy to use and the results are outstanding. Remember when watering your plants to use good filtered water! It makes a big difference in the health of the plant and ultimately you won’t be eating veggies with yuck water in them. When it comes time to plant them, be sure to weather them off outside in a low wind area for at least a couple of days. But remember to bring them in at night as it may get too cold for your young plants. After that period is up you are ready to plant in your garden. It’s best to cultivate your soil first and use some quality organic soil if you can. Always be sure to read the planting instructions if you are going to seed directly into the soil. FInally, be sure to note how much sun your plants need! You can have a poor crop or even kill the plant if it has too much or not enough sun. If the seed package is unclear, google is your friend for getting more info!
We will be sure to update with some pictures of the garden as we plant it! As of now we are in the stage growing a little more and getting ready to weather our plants.
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