Whether you have a greenhouse or a window sill, there are several tips to help you start seeds indoors. There are several steps to take, from choosing your seeds, to repotting, to watering.
Sowing seeds into a single container is more space-efficient
Having a good seed starting container is a no brainer. The containers on the market come in all shapes and sizes. From a tiny plug tray to a bulky plastic container, there is a container for almost any need.
Ideally, you should choose a container that is not only sturdy, but a good fit for your plants as well. The right container will save you time and effort later on. A large plastic container with a clear top will do the trick. A few holes in the bottom will help to prevent water from pooling and keep the air circulating.
You will also want to use a quality seed compost. Shop-bought composts contain no pests, and offer better germination rates than homemade varieties. In addition, many contain beneficial nutrients for your plants.
Avoid wind during the hardening off period
During the hardening off period when starting seeds indoors, you must protect your plants from rain and wind. These factors can wreak havoc on young plants that are not used to being outdoors. This process helps to prepare the plants for the transition into the garden. Depending on the type of plants you are growing, the hardening off process may take a week or more.
It is best to start hardening off your plants on an overcast or rainless day. This will allow the plants to adjust to the change in weather.
When you do harden off your plants, you should gradually increase the amount of time they are outside. You should also give them enough water to stay moist but not soaked. If the weather is warm, you may need to water more often.
Adjust the height of the lights
Having the right lights for your seed starting endeavors can make the difference between success and failure. The best lights are those that are height adjustable and positioned at just the right height to keep the seedlings at the proper height.
You’ll have to use the right hardware and hang the lights in a safe manner. This may include a PVC pipe or chain link. The lights are a worthwhile investment and pay for themselves quickly.
To start off, the best lights for your seed starting endeavors are ones that have a high lumens per square foot. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the higher end models, you can get by with a fluorescent bulb. Replace these bulbs about once a year or so.
To keep the lights on your plants, use an automated timer. This is especially important for plants grown in a cold climate.
Watering your seedlings
Whether you are starting seeds indoors or outside, there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that your seedlings are well taken care of. Getting your seeds to germinate is one thing, but you also want to be sure that they are given plenty of water to grow strong.
One of the easiest ways to water your seedlings is by using a spray bottle. A mister is also a great way to water your seedlings. Watering without a mister can make it easy to over-water. This can cause problems with seedling blight, which can damage or even kill your plants. Watering with a mister requires frequent checks to make sure that your seedlings are receiving the right amount of moisture.
Another thing to keep in mind when watering your seedlings is the amount of light your plants are getting. A good rule of thumb is to allow them to receive 10 hours of light a day. If you have trouble getting this much light, you may need to invest in an artificial light.
Repotting your seedlings
Whether you are starting seeds indoors or outdoors, repotting your seedlings is a crucial step in the process. This will ensure that your seedlings develop strong roots and develop shoots. Also, it can help prevent your seedlings from becoming leggy.
A good rule of thumb is to repot your seedlings in three weeks. However, this depends on the size of the pot and the style of planting. Some plants will do fine in the pots they are growing in, while others will need a bigger container for optimal growth.
You can repot your seedlings in grow bags, or in larger containers. A general rule of thumb is to use a pot twice the size of the seed starting cell. This allows more room for the roots to absorb moisture and nutrients.