IF YOU’RE NEW TO STARTING SEEDS INDOORS, HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT SUPER EASY AND GET A JUMP START ON YOUR GROWING SEASON WITH HAPPY SEEDLINGS.

Happy Hump Day, y’all!!

Halfway to Fri-yay 🙂

And ya know…whew…so glad we got Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast over with…and his prediction of an early spring!

I’ll take it 😉 .

As a fellow Master Gardener friend says “it’s my favorite holiday”…  🙂

Does she know something I don’t?

Punxsutawney Phil 2019

And as an aside…how would ya like to live in that town and spell that word ALL.THE.TIME?

So…

you might be questioning the title up there with LAZY in it.

 Well, I’m not lazy, but I am all about simple and easy…why spend too much time gardening, even if you love it, when you could be out kayaking or boating or vacuuming…

{put that one in there just to see if you’re still awake 🙂 }

All work and no play makes Jack Holly a dull boy girl.

I’ll divide this subject into several posts…today I’ll just be talking about planting until around 4 weeks.

Let’s keep it SIMPLE for now.

 

#1  KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Write them down. You will need them sooner or later.

I use these websites, but you can go anywhere.

 

A) Go here to get your hardiness zone.

USDA Plant hardiness zone map

Why? So you can pick varieties of plants that will grow well in your area.

 

B) Go here to get your frost free dates.

 

old farmers almanac

Why? For a good guesstimate when you can transplant seedlings outside…

but don’t write down the dates in pen.

Pencil!

Weather happens!

 

C) Go here to get a seed planting schedule after you put in your frost free dates.

Johnny's Seeds

Why? Pretty much self-explanatory and especially good if you’re a perfectionist gardener…

and heck, you could plan out the next six months of your life too 🙂 …

around your garden!

#2  SHOP THE BASICS YOU’LL NEED

  1. Seeds! My fave is Botanical Interests…but you can get seeds anywhere. I get that.
  2. Seed starting mix I found mine at Home Depot, actually.
  3. Seed starting pots
  4. Plant germination tray You might find something similar at Walmart or somewhere local to you.
  5. Humidity dome {you can use clear plastic wrap, but it can get a little messy}
  6. Heat mat {a favorite I use}
  7. Grow light {a favorite I use}
  8. Small spray bottle again…Walmart or the Dollar Store 🙂
  9. Plant Tags Walmart or Home Depot also {Use them! You will forget!}
  10. Marker I’ve had issues with all kinds or markers for years..this one finally lasts and doesn’t fade away with sunlight. It’s worth the $10. I haven’t found it anywhere except Amazon. Truth.

#3 RECIPE

I used to use peat pellets exclusively, but lately I prefer the method below. Why? You might have to transplant seedlings to a larger pot sooner rather than later.

And that takes time away from kayaking…or vacuuming.

But for true simplicity go ahead and use peat pellets with the tray and dome they usually come with. Very easy! And usually pretty inexpensive. There are several sizes you can get.

seedling pots in tray

  1. Combine the seed starter mix with water in a bowl to moisten, otherwise it will be very fluffy and dry. If it clumps in your fist or fingers, it’s good.
  2. Fill pots/containers/whatever-you-have {small yogurt containers are awesome if you puncture holes in bottom} with moistened mix. Keep the containers small though – less than 4″ diameter – you can run out of room very quickly with too large pots!
  3. Put 2-3 seeds on surface of soil. Yes, sometimes I cheat and put up to 10 on…when I’m not sure if the seeds are viable or not. Ummm…maybe that is my excuse 50% of the time 😉
  4. Hand sprinkle a small amount of unmoistened starter mix over seeds. For tiny seeds like parsley or lettuce just cover lightly. For larger seeds such as sunflower seeds, cover them about 1/4″.
  5. Spray with water to dampen the dry mix on top.
  6. Place pots in seed tray and cover with humidity dome.
  7. Place on heat mat. No grow light is needed yet…but soon!

#4  NOW WHAT?

seedlings in pots

  1. When the seedlings come up {depends…usually in a week}, remove the dome AND unplug heat mat.
  2. Place them under the grow light and leave light on for 12-16 hours a day. You will have to adjust the light up every so often…you want the light positioned 2-4″ above seedlings.
  3. The heat mat is not needed anymore as they’ve germinated…and too much heat will dry out the seedling roots and stress them. I usually leave it in place and just unplug it.
  4. Check daily for thirsty seedlings.  When the soil is light brown it’s time to water. I’ve found that it’s usually about twice a week. The best way is to fill up the tray with about 1/2″ of water {use a small water can} and let those green babies drink it up. Their roots will grow better and stronger this way.
  5. If your place is cold, then keep humidity dome on. Seedlings do not like cold!

#5  KEEP CALM & GARDEN ON

keep calm mug

  1. It’s addictive. Be careful.
  2. Once you see beautiful green growth you will plant more and more and more.  Then you’ll be a certified PLANTAHOLIC 😉

 

NOW GO FORTH AND PLANT!  YOU WON”T BE DISAPPOINTED.

 

This post contains some affiliate links. That means Dirt & Denim may make a small commission from sales at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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