It’s that time of year again! The days are getting longer and warmer weather is on its way. You can get a jump start on the growing season by starting seeds indoors. Follow Agway’s step-by-step guide to starting seeds indoors.
Supplies You Will Need:
- Planting Containers/ Divided Planting Trays
- Soil Mixture
- All-Purpose LED Lights
- Heating Mat
- Liquid Fertilizer
Practice makes perfect when it comes to seed starting. It is a tricky process that takes time, so if this is your first seed starting experience, BE PATIENT! First you want to pick the seeds that you want to watch grow. Agway has hundreds of seeds to choose from from popular brands like Botanical Interests and Harts.
Add soil mixture to your trays. Agway carries a variety of planting trays, including the Jiffy Seed Starter Greenhouse, which is ideal for beginners. The soil mixture you choose will determine how well your plant thrives. This is not the time for regular potting mix or soil from your garden. Pick up a bag of seed mixture specifically designed for growing seedlings.
Plant your seeds in the containers, paying attention to recommended depth on the package. When placing seeds into the tray, make sure you label what seeds are going where. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what is growing!
Place trays with seedlings under the recommended amount of light. Window sills are great, but a supplemental light, like the Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light, will ensure your seeds get a consistent and controlled amount. Seedlings that appear spindly or leggy are generally lacking light. Keep grow lights 2-4 inches above the plants, gradually raising them as the plant grows. Seedlings generally need around 15 hours of light a day, followed by a rest at night. You will also want to keep a heated mat, like the Jump Start Seedling Heating Mat, under the tray to promote quick and healthy growth.
Water seeds as recommended on the package from the bottom, not directly on top. You can do so by pouring water into the bottom tray where the plants are placed. As leaves appear, you will want to fertilize the plants once a week with liquid fertilizer. A quality fertilizer, like Fox Farm Big Bloom Liquid Plant Food, will provide the well-balanced nutrition your plants need to maintain healthy growth.
Once plants are ready to be added to your outdoor garden, you’ll want to prepare them for the transition through a process called “hardening off”. This is a 1 to 2 week process in which you gradually move the plants outdoors. Start by placing them in a protected outdoor spot for an hour a day. Gradually increase that time over the next several days, eventually exposing them to a full day of sun and wind. Now your plant will be ready to move into your garden!
Stop by Agway and let our knowledgeable team provide assistance with any questions you may have about seed starting.