Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Things you’ll need for successful seed starting

Begin with choosing quality seeds. Seeds are available in a wide variety of vegetables and ornamentals. The important thing is to select quality seeds and read the packet.
There is a wealth of information regarding sow rate and depth, time to germination, as well as a description of the plant.
Then, select your seed germination supplies. Seed starting trays are available with and without drainage holes. Inserts are available with a number of seed-holding cells, though typically there are 72 cells in each tray. These inserts fit into your seed starting trays. You can start your seeds in individual black form pots, or biodegradable pots.
These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from expandable pellets, to round, square and egg carton.  
Heat Mats keep the seed starting soil temperature constantly warm, which promotes larger root systems and sturdier plants. Heat mats are available for a single tray or two trays. We also carry large, 4-tray mats and we carry a window sill size mat that is 5" X 24". Humidity domes raise the humidity and hold moisture for your seedlings.
These domes are 7" high and have two air vents in the top, to help control condensation.  You’ll want to supplement the light in your house with grow lights. These lights provide your seedlings with the right kind of light to develop strong plants. Grow lights are available in Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Fluorescent bulbs. You can learn more about lighting at: http://theflowerbincolorado.blogspot.com/2014/01/get-your-seeds-started-right-with-right.html 
Seed starting mix is a sterile, soil-less mix, designed to get your seeds germinated.
This is a handy tool to have. It makes sowing seed easy and precise. You’ll want to label your trays so you’ll know the type of seed you’ve planted.
Labels are available in a wood or plastic and they can follow your seedlings from the starting tray right into the garden. Fertilizer for seedlings and young plants is important.  Once the seed sprouts, the first set of leaves you see are not true leaves. They’re called cotyledons and they contain enough food reserves to keep the seed going until the true leaves emerge and the plant can collecting energy from the light source you’ve provided.
At this point, you can feed your seedlings with a very mild solution of organic fertilizer, such as Neptune’s Harvest or Age Old Organics.

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