Seeding Flowers Indoors: An Inexpensive Way to a Beautiful Summer Garden

Written by Debbie Rodgers

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•Plant seeds sparingly. You’ll have to thin them anyway. Some growers plant only two seeds per cell pot. If you’re planting in flat trays, place seeds 1/2” to 1” (1 to 2.5 cm) apart, depending onrepparttar seed size, and spacerepparttar 100159 rows 1 1/2” to 2” (3-5 cm) apart. Make a depression inrepparttar 100160 soil with your finger or a pencil and plantrepparttar 100161 seed about three times as deep as its diameter. Ifrepparttar 100162 packet saysrepparttar 100163 seed requires light to germinate, then put it just onrepparttar 100164 surface ofrepparttar 100165 soil.

•Setrepparttar 100166 containers in a water-filled tray. This allowsrepparttar 100167 pots to draw water fromrepparttar 100168 bottom without disturbingrepparttar 100169 seeds. Cover tray and pots with plastic to help hold moisture and heat.

•Placerepparttar 100170 entire set-up on a heat source between 75 - 85° F (24 - 29° C). Although a heat mat designed for this purpose is ideal, you can also userepparttar 100171 top of a fridge, or a spot near a radiator or space heater.

•Oncerepparttar 100172 seeds have germinated, removerepparttar 100173 plastic and putrepparttar 100174 pots (withrepparttar 100175 water tray) near a light source at a reduced temperature. Good light is crucial at this point to ensure good growth. Fluorescent shop lights within a few inches ofrepparttar 100176 tops ofrepparttar 100177 seedlings are perfectly suited. You can also try a sunny south window but ideallyrepparttar 100178 light should be onrepparttar 100179 plants for 16 hours out of each 24-hour period. In my climate, we just don’t have 16 hours of daylight this time of year! Seedlings respond best to daytime temperatures of 60 - 70° F (16 - 21°C) and night temperatures of 50 - 60° F (10 - 16°C).

•Here’s where it becomes critical to prevent damping-off. One way to do this is to let an electric fan blow gently acrossrepparttar 100180 surface ofrepparttar 100181 soil during daylight hours. There are also specially formulated products onrepparttar 100182 market that can be applied torepparttar 100183 surface ofrepparttar 100184 soil when you are planting seeds that will help stop damping-off from developing.

•Whenrepparttar 100185 seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves (notrepparttar 100186 round little germination leaves), pull all but one plant per cell. It’s hard, I know, to pull up living plants but it’s necessary to prevent overcrowding that will kill all of them.

•Whenrepparttar 100187 seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, start watering them (fromrepparttar 100188 bottom) with fertilizer diluted to quarter strength.

•A week or 10 days before you plan to plant them outside, start “hardening off”repparttar 100189 tender seedlings. Stop fertilizing, and cutrepparttar 100190 amount of water in half. If possible, keep them in a cooler space inside and start introducing them torepparttar 100191 direct sun and fluctuating temperatures ofrepparttar 100192 outdoors. Begin by settingrepparttar 100193 trays outside for an hour inrepparttar 100194 mid-morning or mid-afternoon ad gradually lengthenrepparttar 100195 time to several hours. Don’t put them out in heavy rain or cold, strong wind and be sure to bring them indoors at night.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a bounty of young, strong plants to fill your hanging baskets and pots. This year, you’ll haverepparttar 100196 planters of your dreams!

Debbie Rodgers owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Visit her on the web at and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”. Mail to

Four Seasons Roofing and Siding can be found on GOOGLE

Written by Bob W

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