Especially when you live in the Northern parts of the world, starting seeds indoors is the best way to extend the growing season and ensure a decent harvest.
The Farmer’s Almanac publishes a handy guide to which seeds need to be started when depending on where you live. You can check it out here https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar
There are other advantages to starting seeds indoors, too. For instance, seeds are generally much cheaper than buying seedlings from a nursery. There are often many more varieties available too. And if organic is something you do, then starting from seeds is the best way to ensure a truly organic growing process.
Start these veggies indoors:
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Lettuce, Peppers, Pumpkins, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watermelons,
A few handy tips:
Wear your Dig It® Gloves to keep your hands clean and your nails safe from damage.
Share seeds with your neighbours. Most packs of seeds contain plenty to share
Be prepared to lose a few seeds.
Label your seeds as you plant them – trust us, you won’t be able to tell your lettuce from your sprouts from just a little seedling
Our favourite way to start seeds is one we learned from our kindergarteners. Our kids have sprouted so many interesting seeds with this method, so why not get them to “teach you how”?
Most seeds do well when you place them between two damp sheets of paper towel (folded a few times to create a nice thick pad) and placed into a plastic sandwich bag. Keep the paper towel moist and put the baggie somewhere nice and warm. It will only take a few days for your seeds to produce a taproot.
Once you see a taproot, it’s time to transplant. Cardboard egg cartons are exceptionally useful at this time. Use quality soil and carefully put your sprouted seeds, one per egg cup, into an indent in the soil. Cover with loose soil, then cover the whole tray with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap acts like a greenhouse and helps move things along.
If you can place your egg cartons on a tray, you can water the seedlings from the bottom, letting the cardboard absorb water and keeping those young shoots from getting too wet.
Keep the seed trays nice and warm. On top of the fridge is an ideal spot, as the heat comes from the bottom which is
Rotate the seedling trays every day or so, too, so that the seedlings grow straight up, not leaning towards the sun.
Next time, we’ll cover “hardening off” which you’ll need to do before you transplant your seeds outdoors.