March Is The Best Time To Start Planting Your Seeds.

Growing your seeds indoors is useful because it gives your plants a head start, especially when the weather outside is not warm.  This results in earlier and longer harvests that would otherwise not be possible.

Growing indoors is particular good for tender crops such as tomatoes, peppers and squash.

Use the following tips to get the best results for your seeds:

  1. Use a good seed starting soil.
  2. The soil needs to be fine and moisture retaining so the young seeds don’t dry out. Keep the soil well watered, but not waterlogged so that there is sufficient air to prevent rotting.

  3. Provide warmth for germination.
  4. Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the room you are keeping the trays in. Warm soil does tend to dry out quickly, so to prevent this, either cover the seeds with a plastic cover, or regularly check and water them. The seed packet usually tells you how long it takes the seeds to germinate.

  5. Once germinated transfer to lighted area.
  6. As soon as the seeds emerge, you will need to transfer them to a place with good strong natural light. Placing the trays near a window will not necessarily be the best place to catch the optimum light.

  7. Start planting the seeds at the right time.
  8. There is no point starting seeds too early only to find that they have outgrown their pots before the weather has warmed up enough outside. Starting seeds too late means that they may not have time to develop properly.

    Use an online location specific garden planner that will give you the best range of planting dates for each crop in your geographical area.

  9. Sow in batches every few weeks.
  10. Successful gardening depends on a lot of factors. To mitigate against variations in climate, pests etc., it is a good idea to plant every few weeks. 

  11. Transfer into pots once ready.
  12. After a few weeks, the seedlings will have developed their second set of leaves. At this stage, before their roots get entangled, it’s a good idea to transfer the best ones into pots.

  13. Minimize root disturbance.
  14. When you transfer the seedling into a pot, pick it up by the leaves and not the stem. By picking up by the stem, you can squeeze and damage the capillary tubes that carry water.

    Take as much soil as possible around the roots when you transfer the seedling, so the roots are not damaged.

  15. Label your plants.
  16. This may seem obvious, but many gardeners forget to label each pot and have trouble identifying them when planting outside. Note down the variety and dates such as when the seeds were sown and transplanted, for future reference.

  17. Seedlings need intensive care.
  18. Seedlings grown indoors are vulnerable to a lack of moisture, nutrients or warmth. Just like an intensive care unit, you need to make sure that you supply them everything they need. So check on them at least once a day.

  19.  Introduce them outdoors gradually.
  20. Going from intensive care straight to outdoor conditions is a shock few seedlings can survive. As the plants get larger, gradually introduce them to outside conditions. Initially, take them out for an hour, and then gradually increase the time each day until they are finally ready to be planted.

    By following these tips, you will give your seedlings the very best chance for survival and set yourself up for a great harvest.

    If you have any questions about this blog or any other topic that we cover in our weekly blogs, please contact us by email or message us on Facebook.
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