You can buy all the fruits and veggies you could imagine at the grocery store but do they taste homegrown? Not so much! Get a fresh start on your veggie garden before spring hits by starting your seed now. Ready to get started? Grab your gardening gear!
What you'll need:
-Seed packs of your preferred vegetables
-Seed starting mix
-Seed starting tray
-Labels or popsicle sticks
-Grow light (optional)
What to do:
-Begin by filling your seed starting tray with seed starting mix.
-Slowly add water until the soil becomes moist but not so much that it gets soggy.
-Use your finger or the tip of a pen to create a furrow about 1/4 inch deep. Place 1-3 seeds per unit. Gently cover with soil.
-Don’t forget! Label as you go. Seedlings tend to be hard to identify at first so be sure to take this extra step and make tags for your veggies. Garden Supply Company offers a wide variety of labels for purchase but you can always make your own with the kids’ leftover popsicle sticks too.
-Cover your tray with the transparent lid and place grow light above your tray. If you're going the natural light route, simply place your tray near a window that will provide bright light.
-Begin a daily routine keeping a close eye on your soil. Water carefully to keep the soil semi-moist but not wet.
-If you’re not using a grow light, turn your tray every couple days once your seeds sprout so that your plants will grow straight up rather than towards the window.
-Once your sprouts develop their first two leaves, you're all done with the transparent cover for the season. Remove it to prevent mold and rot.
-When your seedlings appear to have grown sturdy stems and are about two to three inches tall, carefully transplant each into small individual pots. To save on materials, you can also reuse plastic containers you’d otherwise toss in the recycling bin. Just be sure to poke holes in the bottoms so that water doesn’t get trapped and cause root rot. Cool season plants such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, cabbage, collards, sugar snaps and snap peas can actually be planted in the ground at this time as long as the ground isn’t frozen. We suggest keeping the veggies in their pots that require a little more heat until about two weeks after the last expected spring frost.