It’s going to be 60 degrees and sunny today! Time to really start thinking about spring and take those garden plans a step further!
When we think of gardening, we usually think of lots of big plants heavy with fruits and vegetables outdoors in the summer heat. Those plants don’t start out that big, though.
Did you know that most plants in the garden start out as tiny seeds that have to be planted each year? Maybe you’ve planted seeds in a garden before and gotten to watch them grow into big, healthy plants.
Not all seeds can be planted straight into the garden, though. Some plants grow too slowly to be planted right outside. If we waited until it was warm outside to plant them, they wouldn’t have time to grow big enough to have vegetables for us to eat before frost comes in the fall.
Other plants are very sensitive to cold weather. We can’t let them be outdoors until the weather is warm enough. Farmers and gardeners can give these kinds of plants a head start. They plant these seeds in small pots indoors. Seeds like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cabbage, cucumbers, melons, and squash can all be planted or “started” indoors.
Starting seeds indoors is easy! You only need a few things and a little time and patience to give your garden veggies the head start they need! We’ll give you instructions on how to start your own seeds indoors. Make sure you get an adult’s permission and help before you start!
What you need to get started:
- seeds such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, or lettuces
- small containers to plant into; paper cups and paper egg cartons work well!
- seed starting soil mix
First, take your containers and fill them about 3/4 of the way full with dirt. Using special seed starting mix will help your seeds get the best possible start, but regular potting soil will work, too.
Next, put 2-3 seeds in the middle of each container. You’ll thin these later so only one plant will be in each pot.
Sprinkle a little more dirt on top of the seeds so they’re just lightly covered with about 1/8″ soil.
Gently water the containers. Be careful not to use too much water – the seeds can wash away if they get flooded!
Be sure to label what kind of plant is growing in each container. You could get creative and make fancy labels for your plants.
Make sure you keep them moist, but not too wet. In just a few days you should see baby tomato plants starting to poke up through the soil.
Eventually, you’ll want to transplant the seedlings into a larger container outside or out into your garden when it is warm enough. Check your seed packet for instructions.
If you don’t have small containers to plant your seeds into, you can make them out of newspaper like this!