How to start plants from seeds
Read this instructive article and find out how you can startflowers or vegetables from seeds!
You can easily start your own plants from packets of seeds. Just be sure that you plan ahead so that the seeds will have turned into plants by the time they are ready to transplant outdoors!
To begin with, buy the vegetable and/or flower seeds you want to plant. You'll also need containers such as Styrofoam cups, with holes poked in the bottoms. You'll need potting soil too. Don't try to use soil from your garden because it's not sterile. Also, garden soil doesn't have the nutrients in it that seeds need to grow.
Now, set the Styrofoam cups on a flat work surface. Place a few small stones in the bottom of each one for irrigation. Then, fill those three quarters of the way full with the potting soil. Use a plastic fork to dig a shallow hole in the middle of each cup. Read and follow the directions on each packet of the seeds. But, basically, you'll need to plant two to three seeds in each container. Cover them up with the fork and place several tablespoons of water on the soil. Use a magic marker to identify each container so you know what you've planted.
After you get done planting the seeds, hang onto the packets the seeds came in. These will tell you when you should transplant the vegetable or flowers plant to the outdoors.
Place the cups in a shallow box and place a clear sheet of plastic wrap over the top. Tape the sides down securely. (This will help to keep the heat inside the box.) Set them in front of a semi sunny window or under a growing lamp. Do not set the containers in direct sunlight! Check the soil every day to make sure it stays moist.
In the meantime, prepare a flower bed or a vegetable garden outside. The size of the bed or garden will depend on the number of plants you are going to put in there. The soil will need to be loosened. It will also need to be cleared of rocks, sticks, and other debris.
Back to the seeds- when the seeds turn into plants, and reach a height of about one to two inches, pull the plastic off of the top. Continue to monitor the plants and keep the soil moist.
Then, move the box to a window that gets a little more sunlight. Or, turn the growing lamp on a little more than you have been. Keep in mind that the tiny plants are weak and fragile. Therefore, they need tender loving care if they are going to make it!
Once the plants grow their second set of leaves, it's time to carefully add fertilization to their soil. Fertilization will give them nutrients to help them grow further. Follow the directions on the package to make a weak mixture of fertilizer and water. Apply as directed on the package. When the flower or vegetable plants reach a height of about three to four inches, and have grown another set of leaves, it's time to transplant them into larger containers. Flower pots will work fine for the purpose. Don't just remove the plant from the cup, remove the soil and all and place them in a pot full of additional potting soil. Keep each plant watered thoroughly.
Finally, you'll need to take the box of plants outside and place them in a shady spot. If the temperature is cool at night, then be sure to bring them back indoors. After a few days, place the box in an area that receives weak sunlight. Again, bring them in at night if needed. Then, after another few days, place the plants in full sunlight. Follow the directions on each seed package to know when it will be time to move the plants to their spot in your garden or flower bed.