Starting seeds for your garden is easy in just a few, simple steps. Believe it or not, seeds are pretty resilient and you can start them in almost anything you want or have on hand. You don’t even need a lot to get started. Anything to save money these days is right up our ally, and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind that either.
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- container of some kind (I like a seed blocker or these cups)
- seed trays
- water (I like to use a mist sprayer)
How to Start Seeds
After I’ve planned what I’m going to grow in my garden for the season, I decide how many plants I want of each type of plant. For example, if I want to have 12 tomato plants, I’ll want to make sure I have 12 containers for each and at least 12 seeds whether they’re all the same type of tomato or different.
If your seeds are older seeds, you may want to test germination of your seeds beforehand or just make a couple of extra seed containers.
I’ll then set out all of my containers and fill them with whatever soil or compost I’m going to use. Make sure to fill the container to the top of the container because it will settle when you water it.
I’m also not too particular on what soil I use currently. I know this is a debatable topic and I would absolutely love to use homemade compost for all of my seedlings, but I simply don’t have enough at the time. I know most people don’t have their own compost as well and convenience is sometimes better than nothing. Thank you for coming to my soap box moment. *clap, clap*
You can use all different kinds of containers to start seeds in: red disposable cups, salad containers from the store, biodegradable cups, soil blockers, etc. I’m a “use what you have” person.
I also like to label the containers before I put the seeds in them. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll forget what you were going to put where. Labeling them beforehand just helps me out and I need all the help I can get!
After labeling, I like to take it a step further and place my seeds on the spots. Lessoned learned from previous years of totally thinking I made pepper plants when in fact I grabbed all tomato plant seeds. *sigh* This is why I make the mistakes first, so you don’t have to!
If you have as many helping hands as I do, this will be the fun part to have some help! Or be selfish. I’m not going to judge.
Pick a seed from your seed packet and place in the soil. I go about a knuckle deep for measurement. If that isn’t an exact enough measurement for you, the back of the seed packets have all of their information on it as well.
After planting all of the seeds, I place them in a seed tray and water them pretty generously. The seed trays with the lids are my favorite because it then acts as its own green house. They’re very simple, cheap and convenient, my 3 favorite things when it comes to gardening! They are also nice for bottom watering after roots have been well established.
That’s it! You’ve started seeds! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Basic Care and Up Keep of Seedlings
You will water your seeds daily (I prefer to use a mister) about 2 times a day. Depending on how humid your home is, you may to need to water more or less. You will also need to fertilize your soil if your soil didn’t already have some in it.
Once the seeds have sprouted you can then transfer your seed started plants out in your garden. This will also depend on the temperatures outside. Be sure to check the information on the back of the seed packet for that information!
Some Seed Starting Items I like to Use
Indoor green houses with grow lights are one of the best things I can recommend if you are starting a lot of seeds. I have limited counter space in my house, so having a special area just for seeds was perfect! Plus, it helped keep little hands away from sprouts.
For seed storage, I like to use a photo organizer box. It makes it simple to organize by seed type and it’s very compact, so it doesn’t take up too much space.
There are a lot of fertilizers on the market. The 3 I have used are fish emulsion, miracle grow (not my favorite) and banana peels soaked in water (basically free). I’m also not too picky on fertilizers, but I do prefer to go a more natural route.