Have you ever wondered how to start garden seeds indoors? At the risk of offending any pun-shunning readers, many people who never grew a garden have decided to venture into the field. Some people base their decision to grow vegetables on pocketbook issues. Others have decided that they just can’t trust the vegetables offered in the supermarket.
(Let’s face it, without fair labeling of GMOs, determining how to make a healthy choice can present challenges. Incidentally, in the research for this post, I came across a cool new bar code scanning app called NxtNutrio that helps to identify whether food products definitely or may contain GMOs . If the product is GMO-free, it shows a cute little green circle with a check mark in it, the Non-GMO Project verification sign.)
But I digress. It’s the first week in March, which means those in Northern climes are dreaming of gardening to relieve their winter doldrums. Whether or not you live in the North, you first time gardeners may wonder about the best way to start seeds. In her article “Starting Vegetables Indoors that THRIVE,” professional gardener Hilary Rinaldi offers…
Six super reasons to start garden seeds indoors:
- Your crops will get a four to six week head start on those started outside.
- In areas with short growing seasons or in areas where the temps in summer rise quickly, starting seeds inside can ensure the success of cold-loving spring veggies, such as cruciferous varieties, peas, cabbage and head lettuce.
- If your summers are short, you can extend the growing season for heat-loving garden crops like tomatoes. Germinating these plants early means you can pick them red and ripe before the chill sets in.
- When you establish your plants before hot weather sets in, they will get more resistant to the heat.
- Planting seeds is cheaper than purchasing plants, and it means you have access to heirloom plant varieties that your local nursery probably won’t carry.
- Finally, you avoid the danger of rot that can set in when garden soil is still cold and damp.
You may not know that our automatic seed sprouter provides a great way to start garden seeds indoors that you can later plant outside. In addition to providing the advantages you gain above, starting seeds in the EasyGreen offers these other advantages:
- You can leave your plants in the EasyGreen until they are several inches high. Then remove the trays and put them in a sunny place to “green up” before planting the young plants directly into your garden plot. This ensures a minimum of disruption for sensitive crops as compared to moving them from starting trays into peat pots, for example.
- There’s no need to water your seedlings while in the EasyGreen. Its mist generator takes care of that for you.
- Your crops will germinate faster than beginning them in a green house or on a sun porch. See this neat comparison of growing tomatoes in the EasyGreen versus in a greenhouse by OrganicGardeningZen.com.
Some growing tips:
- Disinfect your EasyGreen before beginning your seeds.
- Use seed starting potting mix, as this is fluffy and lighter than conventional potting soil and enables seeds to sprout more easily.
- Fill your EasyGreen trays completely full. Then put seeds on top and sprinkle with a little more soil to cover. Rule of thumb is to cover seeds with a depth of soil 4 times the seeds’ diameter.
- Use five separate trays to start five different crops. This way, you can move your plants to a sunny spot as they mature at differing rates. You can then plant these crops directly into your garden soil.
- Disinfect the EasyGreen thoroughly before growing hydroponically (without soil) again.
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