Start Planting Seeds Indoors for Early Crops

Choose the Date for Sowing Vegetable Seeds Carefully

Hardy vegetables can be planted out around four weeks before the average date of the last frost in your area.  The time for planting seeds is six to eight weeks before that.  However the growing temperature and light levels have a big effect as well, so you may find some plants have grown a little big and some are not ready yet when the planting date comes around.  Since everyone’s’ conditions are different, keep notes and consult them when planning for next season.  In a while you will get it just right for your own unique conditions.

Germinating Vegetable Seeds

For germination seeds are sown in small pots.  Planting seeds with a tiny (1/16th of an inch) space between them on the surface of the soil and covering with a thin layer of vermiculite or perlite will ensure they are not too crowded.  At this stage light is not even needed, but warmth and steady moisture are, so after watering thoroughly by standing the pots in a dish of water, you can put the pots in a plastic bag and place them in a warm place. 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a suitable temperature for the vegetable seeds discussed in the previous blog on this topic.

planting seedsKeep a close eye on them and the very moment you see some sign of life, move them into high light.  Don’t delay to do this or your seedlings will be pale and lanky and may never make sturdy plants. Remove the plastic bag, as the light will create too much heat inside the bag.   Keep the potting soil moist but don’t water unless it is needed.

Transplanting Vegetable Seeds

When seedlings come up they have two special leaves called seed-leaves. As soon as they have their first true-leaves, it is time to transplant the seedlings to something bigger.  To save space indoors, some kind of cell-pack system is ideal, but small pots are fine too.  Recycled yoghurt containers – with a few holes punched in the bottom are great for larger seedlings. The seedlings are put into larger containers is to encourage steady growth and easier planting outdoors when that time comes

Keep your seedlings growing steadily by using some dilute liquid fertilizer every week.  Just use half the recommended amount.

Hardening-offplanting seeds

When it gets close to the time you have chosen to plant your seedlings outside, start placing the young plants in a shady outdoor location during the daytime and bringing the in at night.  This will make them tougher and better able to handle the shock when you put them outside permanently.

By planting seeds soon and growing vegetables indoors you will be harvesting some early crops as soon as summer is under way.

Owner, Todd's Seeds

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