With the warm weather approaching, it's time to bring those spring garden plans to life! Maybe you're already working on a simple diagram that maps out your flower garden, or perhaps you've made a list of the veggies you want to grow this year with a few unfamiliar ones thrown in for fun. Growing seeds indoors is yet another way you can get into a gardening state of mind at this time of year. Today, I'm giving you the lowdown on how to successfully plant seeds indoors.
How to Start Growing Seeds Indoors
A cardboard egg carton, small peat pots, yogurt cups, or a plastic flat are all great ideas for indoor seed containers. Whichever type you choose, make sure it has holes in the bottom for proper soil drainage. I like the idea of using the sections of a cardboard egg container for your seeds. Cardboard egg containers are biodegradable, so your seedling and its container can go right into your garden!
Planting Your Seeds
First, fill each small container with moist peat moss. Peat moss is lightweight and retains moisture, helping a seedling to grow. Next, check the instructions on the seed packet to find out how deeply to plant the seeds in the mixture. Remember to keep your seeds moist but not saturated. Consider putting the containers on top of your refrigerator until your seedlings appear: It's an out-of-the-way spot, and the fridge gives off a little bit of warmth. Once your seedlings start to pop up, put the containers in a south-facing sunny window so they receive the six to eight hours of natural light they need to grow.
When Should I Start Growing Seeds Indoors?
The answer depends on what you're growing and when the last frost of spring is due to arrive in your area. For instance, if you want to plant zinnia seeds indoors, put them in containers about four to six weeks before the last spring frost. This gives your zinnias more than enough time to develop into strong seedlings for placement in your garden. The butterflies in your neighborhood will be thrilled with your red, purple, and pink zinnias this year!
When it comes to your vegetable seeds, a planting calendar is very helpful. You simply enter your city, state, or ZIP code to find out when to plant your seeds indoors and transplant them into your garden. Most seed packages also include instructions on when to plant your seeds indoors as well as when to transplant them outdoors.
Seeds That Are Easy to Plant Indoors
Would it surprise you to learn that some seeds are easier to grow indoors than others? Probably not. If you're new to the process of growing seeds indoors, why not start with some easy ones and work your way up? I've already mentioned zinnias. Marigolds, bachelor's button, coleus, and cosmos seeds also grow quickly. When it comes to your vegetable garden, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and peppers are all easy seeds to tackle. (I know, I know: A tomato is a fruit.)
Do you like the idea of getting a head start on your garden? Just imagine how excited you'll be to see your happy seedlings start to outgrow their containers! Thanks for reading. - Alan