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How to Start Seeds Indoors

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Winter is waning and spring is finally on it’s way. If you haven’t already been thinking about what to plant in your garden, it is time. Hurray! I love getting my hands in the dirt and watching those little shoots spring up from the soil. This is one of my most favorite times of year (actually, I say that about the beginning of every season).
Planting seed directly in the ground works well for many of my seasonal vegetables, but there are some plants that benefit from a little head start to ensure they get off on the right foot. In my area, where the growing season is short, growing a few variety of plants from seed is not an option.For instance, tomatoes and peppers would never mature and produce before my typical growing season is over. Starter plants are the only viable way to go.
You will find growing plants indoors from seed is not all that difficult and it is much more satisfying to see the process from start to finish. I have written an easy tutorial to help get you started. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I love to help.

To see more: http://puregracefarms.com/2014/02/resiliency-and-strength/

Got a question about this project?

  • Jeanne
    Jeanne Jamestown, NY
    on Feb 23, 2014

    I have tried this and had no trouble getting them to germinate. But then the seedlings kind of stall and stay spindly. How do I get them to grow sturdy and bushy like the ones I buy at the nursery?

    • Shari@puregrace
      Shari@puregrace Boise, ID
      on Feb 23, 2014

      @Jeanne I purchased my items mostly at amazon.com where I could shop around for the best prices, with the exception of my grow lights. These I found at HomeDepot.com and would recommend either. On my website you will find links to most of the products that I purchased and that have worked well for me. http://puregracefarms.com/spring-in-the-garden/how-to-start-seeds-indoors/ I do use a heating mat under my seedlings, but have found that a thermostat to regulate the temperature is absolutely necessary. For instance, lettuce will not germinate well if the soil is too warm and tomatoes and peppers will not germinate if the soil is too cold. A tricky balance to maintain without a thermostat.

  • Tammy
    Tammy Elkton, MD
    on Feb 23, 2014

    Be careful what you buy in the garden department at Home Depot! I've lived in Florida, Maryland, and Delaware and have ended up with an infestation of black ants after purchasing plants. They are very similar to white footed ants, and had several exterminators bait for them, no luck. There were also articles on the internet regarding this problem.

    • Shari@puregrace
      Shari@puregrace Boise, ID
      on Feb 23, 2014

      Thanks for the information, a good thing to be on the lookout for.

  • Victoria McMackin
    Victoria McMackin Enumclaw, WA
    on Feb 24, 2014

    To make them sturdier, put a oscillating fan on them on very low for a few minutes several times a day.. imitates a gentle breeze that they would get outside and they in return bulk up the stem to withstand it. Or you could also gently brush the tips of your fingers across the tops.. being very gentle to not break of course

  • Pascal Tremblay
    Pascal Tremblay Canada
    on Feb 24, 2014

    Interesting the heater for the tray.

  • Robert Muttenthaler
    Robert Muttenthaler Canada
    on Feb 24, 2014

    I've tried doing this method before and I've always come out with the same result... nothing. Could it be because of over watering or where I've placed the trays ?

    • Shari@puregrace
      Shari@puregrace Boise, ID
      on Feb 24, 2014

      Yes! Overwatering is one of the biggest problems with seedlings who do not like to sit in water. I find the soilless mix helps tremendously with this problem as it does not hold on to the moisture quite as long as potting soil. But only until your seedlings are off and running. They then have to be re-potted for nutrients the soilless mix doesn't contain. Where you place your trays is important too. Once your seedlings are up they need plenty of sunlight. This week I will be writing more on the care of your seedlings. Don't despair or be afraid to try again. I will be here to help if I can.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!