So you’re thinking of starting seeds this year? Why not start your seeds indoors so they’re ready when the warm weather hits! Growing your own seeds gives you the satisfaction of knowing exactly how your food has been grown. But before you run out and buy a bunch of seeds, take the time to prepare your home for the best chance of success.
The Right Light
Take a look around your home to find the area with the most light. Most seeds require sunlight, and plenty of it, to survive. However, even in the sunniest of rooms, you may need to supplement with artificial lighting to encourage your seeds to sprout. Traditional grow lights can be used or growers can create their own set up with florescent lights. Ideally, seedlings should be exposed to 12 to 14 hours of light a day to encourage optimal growth.
Tip: Light should be about 2-4 inches away from the plant for ideal absorption
Although it may be tempting to start seeds off in large containers, for these newborns small spaces are best. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that they are easy to overwater. Seed trays with clear dome covers, can can be found at most garden centres. As a money saving option, smaller containers can also be made from common home products including egg cartons, eggshells, small yogurt containers or even toilet paper rolls. If creating your own container, be certain to add a hole in for drainage.
Tip: To avoid overwatering, water your seedlings from the bottom.
It’s all in the Soil
These little seeds are nutrient hungry, which makes the soil choice essential. Start your seeds right with a sterile soilless mixture designed for seed starting. Before planting, moisten the mixture well and allow it to sit for about an hour. Every seed is unique, read the guidelines on the package to determine both the spacing and depth the seed will be planted.
Tip: Label your seeds! Most sprouts look alike.
Growing plants from seeds takes time and effort. Be patient. Check on your seedlings daily to ensure that they are receiving both the water and light that they need. And remember, there’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own produce.