Seed Starting Tips
Starting seeds indoors is a fun way to have a start-to-finish hand in growing a garden and flowers. Plus, it’s a great way to save money! Seed-starting is not as difficult as it first seems. However, there are some proven ways to improve the experience and even speed up the process. Here are some tips and tricks to increase your likelihood of success!
#1 Start with the Correct Soil
Seeds only need a few things to get going. These include water, light, and soil. Seedling mixes are the perfect planting medium for retaining moisture while allowing excess water to drain. They are also designed to encourage root development, which not only makes the plant stronger, it also makes transplanting them a lot easier.
Pro Tip: Using seed trays keeps seedlings organized, makes moving them more convenient, and they will collect excess water.
#2 Warm the Soil and Seedlings
Providing seedlings with a consistent temperature can speed up germination by a couple of days! Consistent temperatures also improve germination rates by almost 70%, making you look like a seed starting rock star! To gently boost the soil temperature for seedlings, place a heating mat under the starting trays. Zamzows offers heat mats made for seed starting. They are durable and provide low, consistent temperatures, removing the guesswork.
#3 Transplant Seedlings as They Grow
While starting your seeds indoors, it is a good idea to transplant or step them up two to three times before they are ready to go outside permanently. Transplanting seedlings to bigger containers provides room for root development. Allowing plant energy to move downward instead of to the green top growth. Healthy roots are the key to a healthy mature plant.
Pro Tip: Remember to label the plants along the way! As you transplant and move things around it gets confusing very quickly.
As your seedlings begin to grow, they can become very “leggy,” meaning that they are thin and tall and sometimes a little wobbly. Don’t be afraid to prune your seedlings, as leggy plants are weaker and prone to falling over. Pruning slows down its upward growth and encourages lateral branching and root growth, making them much hardier and preventing loss as you begin to move them outside.
Pro Tip: Using a small fan on low power for an hour or two each day over your seedlings will provide some resistance for your plants, strengthening their stems. If you don’t have a fan, gently run your hand over their tops each time you walk by them.
#5 Harden Off Plants Before Planting Them Outside
Before seedlings are ready to be planted outside, they need to be hardened off slowly. To harden off your seedlings, move them outside for a little bit each day, then bring them back inside. Increase the amount of time spent outside each day so, they get used to being exposed to the elements. Hardening off will prevent shock and get them ready to go into the ground.
We take great pride in helping our customers be successful, so if you have any questions, our experts are always ready and willing to help.