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How To: Planting Your Seeds

2012 April 1
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Growing seeds can fun and rewarding. This post will outline how to go about starting and planting your seeds. First you need to figure out whether you want to start your seeds indoors and then move them outside or plant directly outdoors. The type of plant you are trying to grow will generally determine which method you choose. You can also grow many varieties year round indoors as long as you have seed and growers supplies are available any time of year.

peat pellets and seeds before

Before
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sprouted seeds after

After
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You will want to get everything you need together at a table or another suitable space with a fair amount of room to work. You will need:

Seeds
Growing Tray or container
Clear plastic lid for container (clear plastic bag will work also)
Plant labels and marker or pencil

Let’s get started

You want to prepare the area you are going to use, in this case the kitchen table works great. You can cover the surface with something to catch any rogue soil. Old newspaper works well for this. You can fold up the soil in the paper and dispose of it easily.
Soak the peat pellets in water. Hot tap water helps expand them quicker and to their full height. Start with a moderate amount of water and continue to add a small amount as needed until pellets are fully expanded.
Once the pellets are fully expanded use a pencil to poke a hole in the top of the soil. Don’t go down to far you don’t want the seeds to be to deep. You should plant them about 1/3 of the way down. You may want to poke holes in every pellet before you begin planting.
Add 1-2 seeds per pellet. Press down the soil around the seeds. You may need to squeeze the sides of the pellet to push the soil together. Repeat for all your pellets or cells.
Place the lid on top and place somewhere that isn’t too cold. Most seeds on average will take 5-14 days to germinate, with some taking up to a year. The windowsill generally gets to cold at night and will affect germination. Direct light isn’t neccesary, but check the packet for specific conditions.
Once the seeds have sprouted you need to remove the lid and provide light right away. Read the directions on the seed pack for specific lighting conditions. If using grow lights make sure the lights aren’t to close to the seedlings or they will get leggy. 8-10cm is usually sufficient. Also, seedlings require 12-16 hours of sun per day. Set your lights to 16 hours on, 8 hours off.
Your seedlings are ready to be transplanted into larger containers once they have produced their 2nd or 3rd set of true leaves. True leaves are all the leaves formed after the initial, very first, set of leaves as a seedling.

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