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Seeds, Plugs & Planting

Basics of seeding, transplanting, and growing your own vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

supplies
Seeding Supplies

We are quickly approaching spring! How exciting. In preparation, I'll be going over the basics on starting your seeds indoors.



Advantages of starting your seeds indoors:

The main advantage to starting your seeds indoors is getting a head start on your growing time. Instead of waiting to direct seed into the ground, starting your seeds indoors will give you at least a few weeks of extra growing time which helps with our cold weather. Getting a head start on seeding also gives you an earlier harvest.



Crops to not start indoors:

Root crops (beets, carrots, turnips….) don’t transplant well

• Corn typically won't transplant well

• Lettuce is best to direct seed (often runs into the issue of damping off**)


Good crops to start indoors:

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, and peppers. These crops have a slower root development and need a longer growing season.


Best time to start your crops indoors:

• 6-8 weeks prior to the last frost date (last frost date is typically predicted around Mother’s Day)

• Squashes (squash, zucchini, pumpkins, and cucumbers) grow very fast, so start a lot closer to the last frost date (4 weeks prior to last frost date)

• Beans and peas grows quickly, so start a lot closer to the last frost date


Seeding practices:

Keep dome on to create a greenhouse effect and good condensation

• Water when dry to prevent damping off**

• Keep in a sunny location

• Remove dome after seedlings have fully emerged


**Damping off- It is several different pathogens that kill or weaken seedlings before or after they germinate. Caused by cold conditions and overwatering. To prevent, make sure to not overwater and keep good airflow.


Seeding basics:

Make sure to use a seeding soil. This soil is much lighter and helps in your seeds germination.

Seed starter soil
Seed starter soil

Seeding Guide:

Lettuce: 3-4 seeds per plug, create a small crater and drop seeds in

Kale: 3-4 seeds per plug, create a small crater and drop seeds in

Tomato: 1 seed per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Pepper: 1 seed per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Bean: 1-2 seeds per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Pumpkin: 1-2 seeds per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Pea: 1-2 seeds per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Basil: 2-3 seeds per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)

Cilantro: 3-4 seeds per plug, create a small crater and drop seeds in

Parsley: 3-4 seeds per plug, create a small crater and drop seeds in

Flowers: 1-2 seeds per plug, poke approximately ½” hole (up to the first pinky knuckle)


Seeding trays:

There are many different seeding trays. The most popular tray is the 72 cells with bottom tray and dome. You can find these in many garden centers and hardware stores. Another option is a windowsill with bottom tray and dome, this is good for smaller spaces. If you want more of an eco-friendly tray, there is Jiffy/Eschert peat trays. These can be planted straight into the ground/ cut apart and planted.




Transplanting:

The soonest you can transplant is after true leaves have emerged. Once you see the plug start to outgrow its space, then you will need to transplant it into a bigger pot.



There are different sized Jiffy pots, which is the typical choice for transplanting. Once again, these can be planted straight into the ground.


Jiffy pots
Jiffy pots

Post transplanting:

After transplanting, continue to keep in a warm sunny spot and water when needed. Once we are clear of frost, plant them into your garden!


Happy planting:)

-Megan

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