Submitted by Michael Snyder, Gakwi:yo:h Farms | Written by Tina Square
Before starting your seeds indoors first there will be some steps you must take:
- Be sure you have quality seeds you want to plant that are still viable.
-Seeds, over time can lose the ability to germinate. Each year the germination rate decreases but this doesn’t mean some of the seeds won’t plant. Choose the plants you wish to plant in your garden. If plants come in a seed packet, read the directions on the packet on how to plant that variety. If a seed packet is not available, info will be available online.
-Also, be sure that the seeds you want to start indoors are plants that can tolerate being started indoors. Not all crops can be started indoors such as root vegetables, corn, and cabbage.
- Be sure you have containers, trays, or pots to grow in.
-Most containers can be used to start your seeds. If you don’t have seed starting trays you can use different containers to plant. Examples of recycled containers used are:
Egg cartons, cardboard cups, plastic bottles cut in half, old Tupperware containers, toilet paper rolls, and egg shells.
If you cannot make it to the store during this time, recycled containers is a good way to start seeds. Be sure to add holes to the bottom of your recycled container to allow water to flow. The seeds will get too wet at the roots and can get moldy.
You will also need a pan, bowl, or tray to catch the water under the container before watering your seedlings. Especially for cardboard containers which will become soggy at the bottom over time. If your cardboard becomes soggy, the seedlings can be transplanted into another container once they grow bigger.
- Next you will need soil.
-If you have an old bag of soil from last year, that can still be used however the most ideal soil is new soil.
-Seed starting soil is the most effective soil to use because it contains nutrients your seeds need to germinate.
-If you cannot leave the house, ask a family member or community member to get some bags of soil for you. And safely drop it off at your home.
-Before planting your seeds use a spade, a cup, or your hands and put some soil in a bucket, wheel barrel or bowl and lightly water your soil. Soil should be slightly moist. Don’t add too much water where the soil will be soggy. Seeds germinate the best when the soil is slightly moist.
-Add just enough soil to your container for the seed to be able to reach sunlight, and an inch or two below the soil for the roots to grow.
- Find a location with lots of sunlight and warmth for your seed trays, pots or containers to germinate.
-By a window sill or on top of your fridge are good locations for your seed trays.
- Lastly, you will need a garden plan.
-Before planting your seeds, you should know where your seedlings will be planted after they germinate. If you have a raised bed or a garden plot, plan out where each plant will go and how much space you will need.
This will help determine how many seeds of each variety you will need to start indoors.
-You can start a garden plan by listing all of the crops you want to grow.
If you have all the things on this list ready to go, you are ready to plant. Be sure to read the directions on all seed packets if they are available. Planting can be very relaxing and gratifying in the end. So don’t worry, it is not rocket science.