While it is still cold outside, it’s a great time to think about starting seeds for spring vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Starting your own seeds is inexpensive and rewarding. To start seeds, you can buy a seed-starting kit or purchase the components separately and do it yourself.
For spring veggies and early crops try lettuce, radish, tomatoes and peppers. For flowers, try echinacea and daisies. For herbs, consider thyme, tarragon, basil and parsley.
9 tips to start seeds
- Seeds. Select fresh seeds that are packaged for the current year.
- Pre-packaged kit. Kits come in different sizes and include seeds, a tray to catch water, cells to hold soil and a clear plastic cover.
- DIY options. Put together a system using either individual pots made from plastic or peat moss or self-contained pellets or plugs to start seeds. You’ll need a tray to hold your pots and a cover.
- Soil-less growing mix. Choose a mix made for starting seeds that contains fertilizer. Do not use soil from the garden.
- Plant labels. Record the planting date and type of flower, veggie or herb on plant tags to keep track of what seeds you’ve started.
- Light system. If you don’t have a sunny windowsill, choose a grow light system that can be raised up or down as seedlings grow.
- Plant mister. Use a misting bottle to water when you start seeds because it keeps the soil surface damp. Avoid overwatering.
- Oscillating fan. A small fan circulates air around the seedlings and helps prevent disease.
- Heat mat. A heat mat isn’t necessary, but it can encourage germination as you start seeds.