Happy April everyone!
This month we are answering the question “How and when do I start my seeds indoors?“
This is a great question and actually much easier than you may think!
You don’t need any of these expensive grow lights or heat mats to grow your own food if you are just starting out. All you need is some good-quality seed soil, a dome, seeds, and plant tags.
When you start will depend on what seeds you have chosen to grow. Things that take 80 to 100 days to harvest, like tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, and anything in the nightshade family (peppers & eggplant), you want to be starting at the end of February, into March. Anything 75 days or less to harvest can be started at the end of March, into April. Any of the quicker crops like root vegetables can be sowed directly into the ground in Spring and do continuous sowing throughout the growing season.
When choosing your seeds, you really need to consider where they are starting indoors as well as where they will go once you plant them outside. You want to be aware of how much light they will be getting, and whether you have a nice and bright spot that will be getting a lot of sun or if they will be spending a lot of time in the shade.
Good ones for the full sun are tomatoes and cucumbers. If you have more of a partial shade garden, any leafy crop will love it, including spinach, lettuce, radishes, and beets. Just be aware of the sun that you have in the spots in your garden and how you can grow what suits these spots best.
To start your seeds, you’re going to take a container and fill it with the seed soil. Place your seeds inside the soil according to the back of the package. Cover the container with saran wrap or a dome to help with the germination of the seed. Place the container in a warm location between 18C – 24C.
Once the seedlings pop up, remove the dome and place the container in a bright location that provides 12-14 hours of sunlight per day.
Once the true leaves start appearing, that’s the second set of leaves, it’s important to start watering from the bottom to prevent stem rot at the base of the plant and causing it to collapse where it meets the soil. Watering from underneath will encourage the plants to have better root systems. Following these instructions will give your seedlings the best chance at survival when they are ready to be planted outdoors.
If you would like me to answer one of your questions next month you can send your question to me at: [email protected] attention Ask Anna.
I hope everyone has a fantastic month and be sure to stop by Harvest on the corner of Vincent Massey and Powerdam to pick up your copy of The Seeker and say hi!