Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Start Your Vegetable Seeds

You have begun receiving your vegetable seed catalogs or you have been receiving vegetable seeds every month with your Vegetable Seeds of the Month Club subscription. Thoughts of bountiful harvests from all of those vegetable seeds are dancing through your head, but before you get ahead of yourself, you want to ensure that the vegetable seeds you already own or the vegetable seeds you are about to buy, will germinate and thrive.

Here are some tips to help start your vegetable seeds.

Read, understand and follow the planting instructions on the back of your vegetable seed packets. These vegetable seed instructions pertain to the vegetable seeds within that packet and will help increase the chances of success. On the back of your vegetable seed packets you will see everything from planting depths to distances and when you can expect your vegetable seed to fully mature into fruits that you can actually harvest.

Many, if not most of your vegetable seeds will be started indoors. This gives you a jump start on your vegetable garden while the temperatures outdoors might be too cold. The items you will need to start your vegetable seeds indoors, are of course, your vegetable seeds, vegetable seed starting soil (homemade or purchased), something to put your seed starting soil in, and an area that receives adequate sunlight throughout the day such as a window sill.

Once your pots (or other vegetable seed starting container) are set up with your vegetable seed starting soil, place your vegetable seeds in the pot as per the directions on your vegetable seed packet. You will thin them out later into their own pots. Make sure you label your vegetable seed pots. You may think you will remember where you planted your vegetable seeds, but over the course of a few weeks, you may forget.

Water your pots that contain your vegetable seeds, but do not saturate.

The best environment for starting vegetable seeds is a humidity dome and/or a green house. Obviously a greenhouse takes up a lot of room and can be costly; a humidity dome on the other hand can cost just a couple of dollars and takes up very little space. Consider one of these options when starting your vegetable seeds. You will also have to water less with a humidity dome.

Once your vegetable seeds have germinated and become seedlings, you will need to thin them out into their own pots. So be sure to plan ahead if you are limited on room. Once you start thinning your vegetable seedlings, room is a factor.

 As your vegetable seedlings turn into larger plants, be sure to transplant into larger planting containers with new vegetable seed starting soil. This will make sure you are not restricting their root’s growth.

On a final note. Before you can transplant your vegetable plants from the indoors to the outdoors, you have to harden them off. That means acclimating your vegetable plants to the outdoors. This is simply done, by taking them outdoors during the day, and bringing them in at night when the temperatures to begin to drop. Once the temperatures are where they should be for the variety of vegetable seed you have planted, you can leave them outdoors overnight or transplant them into their permanent location in your vegetable garden.

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