Starting Seeds Indoors

In a good sterile potting mix, moisten soil, fill containers (either pots or flats), tap the side to compact the soil slightly.  Make shallow or deep depressions into the soil with your finger, or some implement, depending on the seed being planted (remember seeds should be planted no deeper that twice the diameter of the seed).  Cover the seed with a little soil and firm to insure good contact between soil and seed.   Water carefully, being sure seeds aren’t exposed or washed out of their soil  Keep soil moist but not wet as the seeds start to germinate.

Seeds require warmth, moisture, and light in addition to soil to grow.  Find a warm spot in the house, the top of the refrigerator or a sunny window sill to start your seeds.  Some seeds need  higher temperatures to germinate (peppers, eggplants) and you may need seedling heating mats with thermostatic control if you don’t have somewhere in your house with these warmer conditions.    Once the seedlings have germinated, they need light.  Remember to turn your plants every day or two so the light doesn’t bend the stems too far in one direction.  Lightly water when the soil surface dries with room temperature water.  Florescent lights suspended over the plants in a warm (21°C) location 5-10cm above the growing tips of the plants is the best situation unless you have a greenhouse.

Pot up seedlings when they have their true leaves into pots to allow for root development.  Do not feed, over-water or over-heat these transplants, just ensure they are planted into a balanced organic potting soil and have sufficient access to even light.    Harden off these transplants by bringing them outside during the day and in at night to accustom them to the outdoors for 3 or 4 days prior to planting into the garden.   Don’t harden plants if it’s too windy or cold.

Plant into the garden, in settled weather, into a shovel scoop hole filled with compost.  It is helpful to ensure plants have sufficient micronutrients by watering in with fish fertilizer, liquid kelp, or something from the ocean which contains those necessary minerals and micronutrients which will help to sustain growth.