If you are like me, you’re probably itching to get your hands dirty. You can begin the garden season (even if you’re knee deep in snow); by starting your plants indoors and then transplanting them to the garden once the danger of frost has passed.
Common plants that you can start are tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. If you are interested in cold-hardy vegetables, you can start plants such as onions and leeks.
If you are new to starting plants indoors, here’s a basic list to help you get going:
- Plastic trays (or you can use recycled egg cartons or any type of cup you may have laying around the house)
- Plastic Labels & Markers
- Potting mix
- Heirloom Seeds
- Plastic Wrap
- Watering Can
To make the process as easy as possible, determine how many plants you want to start of each variety. Fill the allotted number of trays or pots that you want to start with soil. Plant 2-3 seeds in each pot, ¼ to ½ inch deep. Lightly cover up with soil, to a depth equal to three times their size. Label each plant accordingly (do this immediately so you don’t get the plants mixed up). Lightly mist the plants. Cover with plastic wrap.
Set the plants in a warm area and check daily. Continue to mist the plants, making sure the soil is damp. When you see the seed start to sprout make sure you move to a spot with bright light. You can use white fluorescent tubes for lighting.
Basic guidelines for the following:
- 12 to 14 weeks: onions*, leeks*, chives*, pansies*, and impatiens
- 8 to 12 weeks: peppers, lettuce*, cabbage-family crops*, petunias, snapdragons*, alyssum*, and other hardy annual flowers
- 6 to 8 weeks: eggplants, tomatoes
- 5 to 6 weeks: zinnias, cockscombs (Celosia spp.), marigolds, other tender annuals
- 2 to 4 weeks: cucumbers, melons, okra, pumpkins, squash