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Alrighty, so we have everything we need to plant our garden. We have the soil, an area to garden, seeds, fertilizer, and tools. But it’s cold outside…
That’s where starting your seeds indoors comes in. Many seeds have a long germination time- the time it takes the seeds to sprout. Tomatoes and peppers can take up to 21 days! We don’t want to waste any time during our growing period waiting for the seeds to germinate, so we start the seeds indoors to jump-start the planting season.
The back of the seeds packets usually will tell you how long the germination takes for your variety, when to start indoors and when you can plant them outside directly. Of course, it varies on the type of plant and the variety used, but for my seeds, I need to plant them between 2 - 8 weeks before my area's final frost date.
You can find the final frost date for your area on Almanac.com. All you need to do is provide your city/ state or zip code.
After you get this date, you can count back to see when you need to plant your seeds.
How to Start Seeds Indoors
Step 1. Determine the last average frost date for your area. Look at the seed packets and determine which seeds are best started indoors. Make a list of these seeds then count back from the final frost date to get the dates for when to start planting indoors.
Step 2. Gather your materials. I used organic potting soil and plastic cups. You could also use seedlings containers or plastic egg cartons. I wouldn’t recommend using a natural egg carton or styrofoam because the seedlings’ roots can push through the material, making it hard to transfer later without disrupting their root systems.
Step 3. Fill your containers with soil ¾ of the way up and make a few shallow holes(¼ inch deep). Add 2 - 3 seeds per hole then lightly cover with soil.
Step 4. Lightly water the seeds. You can use a plastic water bottle with a few holes in the lid. When you squeeze the water bottle the water will come out in tiny streams rather than all at one time. This can “drown” the seeds and cause them to not sprout properly.
Step 5. Place your cups of seeds in a warm and sunny area in your home. Water once or twice a day - keeping the soil moist. Now watch and wait for the wonderful little seedlings to appear!
Gardening Supplies Used
Better Home and Gardens Organic Potting Soil