Are you intimidated by the thought of growing your own potted vegetable seeds indoors? Does it sound daunting and hard to do? Well, in this blog post we are going to discuss how really easy it is if you follow a few basic steps.
Let's start with what you don't need. You don't need expensive equipment. It doesn't take a lot of work. You don't need to be a green thumb gardener. Any beginner can do this. And, you don't need a ton of space. Like we have stated it's basically easy to do and very rewarding. You aren't limited to the seed selection at your local nursery. You can go on line and find heirloom seeds that cost much less. There are hundreds of great tasting varieties.
Now think of the money you will save by growing your own veggies in planter pots at home. You will know they aren't sprayed with pesticides, are potted in clean potting soil and haven't been shipped across the States. There is nothing better than reaping the rewards of growing your own veggie potted plants.
Step 1 - Light: The light that is needed to grow veggies indoors can't be from sunny windows. The seeds will turn into plants but they will be spindly and weak since the source of light is so far away. You need inexpensive fluorescent light with cool white bulbs. These work beautifully and with great success.
Step 2 - Good Seeds: If you aren't a seed saver then purchase fresh seeds from a online source with a good reputation. Try to find unique heirloom varieties of tomato, cucumbers, peppers and beans.... You will be amazed at the variety of flavors, colors and shapes that come out of the same type of veggies. We recommend purchasing seeds annually.
Step 3 - The most important step is to keep the soil slightly damp. If it's to wet the seeds will rot or drown. Once the seeds germinate the water needs will increase. Touch soil with finger each day. Gently water if dry to keep it moist. Remember damp not soggy. You can use cell packets or better yet small terracotta pots. Try to keep the pots small like 3" or so. You will transplant the plants into larger pots later.
Step 4 - Prepare the plants to the outdoors in stages. Since they have spent all their time inside your home with great conditions you don't want to just take them outside and put them in a garden planter. Start by taking them outside on a few warmer days. Continue to give them more and more exposure unless the temp drops below freezing. Your goal is a week or so before planting, they can be outside around the clock.
So now is the time to be thinking about starting your own veggie seeds. That way come early Spring you will have tasty potted vegetables that you grew your own.
Getting a head start on your garden with seeds Just Makes Cents.
As the economy sputters, you may find the idea of starting plants from seeds taking root. But, then you might wonder if it's too complicated or difficult. Not to fear - seed starting is amazingly easy, consumes little time, energy and money and brings you a whole new level of gardening enjoyment.
First make wise choices: As you page thru a seed catalog, make a wish list. Pay attention to two important dates. Your last spring frost and days to maturity. Start seeds too early, and you will have unwieldy seedlings indoors too long. Start to late, and your plants may produce flowers later than usual, making them more vulnerable to summer's heat or early frost.
Create a spot for seedlings: Seed companies get busy in early spring and fill orders on a first come basis, so order early for the best selection. While you await their arrival do some basic prep work.
Find a room to grow in - if you don't have a greenhouse find a room indoors that is warm and free of drafts. A basement, sun porch or spare room are good options. Even the top of the fridge is a great place.
Provide sufficient light. Seedlings require 12 to 16 hrs a day. Sunlight from a window is not ideal because it is limited in late winter and early spring. Instead us artificial light. Grow lights are best and use a time.
When seeds arrive, plant them. Begin with a damp sterile seed starting mix. Fill containers 2/3 full. Tamp down to surface level and identify. Read packet for instructions. Don't over sow. To many seeds produce a forest that is too thick for easy thinning.
Cover with plastic to hold in warmth. Check daily. It usually takes a week or two for the first little leaves to emerge. When they sprout two sets of true leaves it is time to move to more space. Don't pull them. Carefully pull apart. Place in a small clay flowerpot and fill with more sterile soil. Move back under the grow lights.
You will know when to move them outside depending on the weather.
At one time or another you are going to consider that you may want to save your own seeds to plant & pot with next season. The feeling of growing beautiful & healthy plants from seeds that you have collected from your own collection of plants. And, watching a seed germinate, become a seedling, and then mature give you such joy & satisfication. It's literally witnessing in the miracle of life!
After a few seasons you will find that many of the potted plants you have with self-seed, even when you would prefer they not. The two types of seed are open pollinated and hybrids. Hybrid seed is created by cross pollinating two varieties. The advantages include uniformity of size and longer life. The pollinated seeds have better germination rates and resistance to pests.
By saving your own seeds you will save a ton of money. Especially if you are growing fruits & vegetables. Whatever you decide make sure you leave the harvesting of seeds until they are absolutely mature. The best time to harvest is mid morning before the sun becomes hot. Collect the seeds and make sure they are completely dry. You can hang larger seeds in panty hose and let them air dry. The best way to store them is using paper bags. Be sure to label the variety and when you collected them. Store in cool dark place.
When you are ready to propagate the seeds for planting in your garden planters try these steps. Things to consider are moisture, warmth, air and light. Smaller seeds can be sowed in small containers. Shallow trays, mini clay pots, empty egg shells, and good potting mix. Cover and water lightly or mist spray. Keep moist till germinate. Water till plants become stronger and can be transplanted. Don't give up some seeds take longer than others. Larger seeds can be planted directly into your selected garden containers.
All in all, growing your own food in containers by saving the seed yourself is very rewarding. It's inexpensive and healthy. Follow the directions above and enjoy the process. Isn't that what this is all about anyway?
Consider a few tips when potting plants for around your home and garden areas.
1. Keep soil clean and correct. There are different types of soil that can be purchased from your local garden center. Make sure you match the correct soil with the types of plants, flowers, or veggies that you are going to be potting. Good garden soil actually can deter pests.
2. Buy pest and disease seeds. When buying seeds, search for letters like V.F.N or T after the name of a seed; they indicate the problems to which the seeds is most resistant. If using grown plants make sure there are no weeds being transferred into the new pot. They often harbor insects and disease organisms.
3. Decaying plant matter is prime breeding ground for fungus, insects and disease, so remove faded blooms, fallen leaves and weeds is key. Every time you visit your garden area or sit next to your potted plants, bring a small bucket and take a minute to tidy up.
4. If you find you must use insecticides, try to use natural products. They will break down quickly in your garden planters when exposed to air and light. Be sure to read and follow the directions because these products can be harmful if use improperly.
Listed below are the 5 easy steps to take you from a seed packet purchased at your local nursery to a lovely table centerpiece!
1. Shop your local garden center for seeds. You will find a wide assortment of fast growing annuals in a rainbow of colors. If you prefer to shop online there are tons of websites that you can find that ship seeds packets directly to you. Try to select colors and fragrances that you hope to enjoy and will fit into your decorating designs.
2. Prep your flower pots or beds. Pick a sunny spot (at least 6 hrs daily) with well draining soil. Work in organic matter, rake smooth, and water to moisten the soil. Having ground to grow cutting flowers is not always possible. You can easily grown them in gardencontainers. Simply follow the same instructions listed above but make sure the planter you use is deep enough and wide enough to hold the amount of seeds you hope to sow.
3. Sow the seeds. Follow the planting instructions on the back of the seed packets. Cover lightly with soil. In as little as five days, many sees will sprout. Once you see two leaves, thin to ensure correct spacing for future growth.
4. Harvest Early. Flowers are freshest in the morning. Use a sharp pair of scissors or snips, cut stems a little longer than you will need for the arranging, and place them in a bucket of water. To encourage more blooms, cut flowers regularly - especially zinnias. Measure the vase or pot that you will be arranging the flowers inside of in advance. Make sure that you cut enough length in advance.
5. Assemble flowers, and your container. Recut stems at an angle right before arranging. If you change water daily, you don't need flower preservatives.
These cherry blooms are easy to grow, require minimal care once established, and yield plenty of flowers for cutting. They also like garden planters as well as the ground. Give it a go and let us know how it works for you!