Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Best Practices for Starting Seeds

Photo Ft. Collins Nursery

IIt’s the time of year when many gardeners begin to start seeds indoors for their vegetable gardens. John Porter with Nebraska Extension and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture has this advise about starting seeds indoors:

Be economical. Use low-cost or recycled items such as takeout containers or shallow disposable aluminum baking pans to start your plants.  Sterilization is key in reducing disease.  Thoroughly wash containers, then dip in a solution of 10% household bleach (1 part bleach : 9 parts water) to disinfect.

Start seeds in clean, sterile seed-starting mix. Don’t skimp. Use a sterile mix that is primarily made of peat or coconut coir.

Transfer the seedling to an individual container/cell/pot with regular potting soil (when its first set of true leaves (the second leaves appear).

Place newly sown seeds in a warm (around 70 degrees F) place to help
them germinate faster. Heat is the most important factor in seeds
germinating: Move the seedlings to a cooler place (around 65 degrees) as
they will grow sturdier and not get thin and leggy.

Light is necessary for good plant growth. A good, sunny (usually south 
facing) window with plenty of light is one option. Otherwise invest in some lighting.

Don’t get started too early.  Read the packet for the number of days/weeks before last frost to start your seeds.

What about fertilizer? Seedlings don’t need much in the way of 
fertilizing when they’re put in a good potting mix.

For the complete article, check here: Starting Seeds with Success: Best Practices.

Plant Talk Colorado Starting Seeds Indoors.

Colorado State University Vegetable Planting Guide.