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CULTUREIFY

Planning on seed-starting this spring? It is so easy and growing the seedlings can be so satisfactory.
Here are a few of the seed starting supplies you’ll need:

1 .Containers such as soda bottles, milk cartons, paper egg cartons, bio-degradable peat pots, or purchased planters. Ensure there’s good drainage in the container you finally select to make room for the plant’s roots.

2. Soil that drains well and is free of disease and weeds. Opt for retail seed starting mix and do not use garden soil. There’s no need to be concerned with fertilizer until after the plant germinates because the seeds have energy and nutrients already.

3. Seeds in varieties that will grow successfully in your climate zone. Be sure to pay close attention to the seed’s tolerances and resistances.

4. Label your seed cups. This extra step will help you identify plants for your garden.

Tips on what seeds will need:

1. Water the soil until moist but not wet. The water helps the seeds to germinate activating the enzymes in the seed begin the growing process.

2. Temperatures for your seed sprouts (garden vegetables and annuals) should be maintained between 65F and 75F, considering 70F a good temp.

3. Air  is necessary for plants to metabolize their food. Do not over-water your plants or bury them too deeply under the soil because they may likely not get the oxygen necessary to utilize their stored food. Always place the seeds  atop of the moistened soil, and cover to the proper level with lose soil. Keep in mind that some small seeds should not be covered at all.

4. Light, as with fertilizer,  is not necessary until after the seed has germinated.

After Your Seed Sprouts:

1. Lighting is essential.  Place sprouts in a southern-facing window if possible. If you don’t have natural light available, florescent lights will work.   Turn the sprouts frequently to ensure proper growth.  If you notice your sprouts are becoming too tall and too thin, they aren’t getting proper lighting.

2. Watering means keeping the soil moist but not wet. Try placing the container in a pan of water, allowing the water to draw up from below.  This is the best procedure for ensuring even watering and a strong root growth.

3. Hardening Off will help establish a strong root system.  After all reasonable risk of frost has passed, begin acclimating your new sprouting plant to full sun and wind. Place them outdoors in the morning and bring them inside around noon time. Follow this procedure for several days before planting them in the ground for the growing season ahead.

Enjoy the benefits of your harvest.

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