Sunday, September 15, 2013

More on Starting Seeds

I don't think I really explained before about how to start seeds, so let me give a brief run-down. Most of this information depends on where you live, but there are some general rules that can followed. Seeds can be started indoors, right in the ground outside, soaked then planted outside, or germinated.

Soaking-
Most seeds that you see are dehydrated, like peas, beets, swiss chard, should be soaked before you plant them unless you live in a really wet area. Even then, I probably would. They really need a lot of moisture to get going. Just cover them with a bit of water and soak overnight. Then plant them. Simple.

Starting Indoor-
I've already covered this on my last post, but it's so easy I'll repeat it here. Plant seeds in small containers, water, and put in southern light. Plants that need this are ones that you want to get out early, or that have a long germination period, like spinach, brussel sprouts, parsnips, watermelons, and other leafy greens.

Ground Outside-
This are the instructions that come on the back of most seed packets. All seeds can be started right in the ground outside, but if climates aren't perfect some may have more trouble. In our Southern Ohio climate squash, melons, corn, and potatoes thrive with just being planted directly in the dirt. I also plant out carrots, beans, and strawberries. Be sure to check your zone and then plant as early as it allows you to.

Germination-
The plants that need germination are usually ones that either have a long germination period or are difficult to get started in ground. They also are the ones that don't need light but a lot of warmth to start. Tomatoes, peppers, and sometimes parsnips usually are germinated.

Germination How To:



Get Bounty paper towels. You'll need durable ones. Also I have here some plastic, you can use a bag or just seran wrap, masking tape, a pen, and seeds



Soak 2 pieces of paper towel completely then wring it out so it's wet but not sopping





Fold them in half. Hot dog style.


I like spacing my seeds about an inch apart. You want them to be far enough that you can rip/cut each seed out.



Fold up the towel until it's a nice square, mark it, and put it in the bag




You don't seed to be too picky about getting all the air out of the bag. You're mostly wanting to trap the moisture in. Place the bag in a warm place for a week or two, checking to make sure the paper towels stay moist. If they dry out, just spray a bit of water into the bag.

I just put my seeds in a couple of days ago so I'll come back and update this when they begin to sprout. You'll be able to see the sprouts wriggling their way out of the paper towel when they are ready. They most important thing to remember is don't try to take the seed off the paper towel! They will essentially be glued to it and you will damage the plant. You're going to rip or cut out the area around each seed and plant the seed still attached to the towel. Like I said, I'll be sure to post pictures once I do this.

I hope that makes seed starting a bit easier to understand. And if not, just throw them all outside in the dirt. Something will be sure to grow!

UPDATE:

Here is what the little babies look like when they sprout.
Carefully cut around them and plant them with their towel!



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