So you’ve decided to do some seed starting in anticipation for that beautiful garden you’re planning? Well, that’s a great choice and I am personally proud of the preparatory steps you’re taking to make sure your garden turns out nicely!
We’ll be having a seed starting workshop soon that you are encouraged to sign up for to get a more in depth lesson on seed germination. Nonetheless, let’s go over some basic ground rules for seed starting right here!
Seed starting indoors is often necessary because many of our favorite things to grow during the season needs a much warmer climate than we provide. We seed start to work around this limitation and artificially provide our seeds with a warmer environment than what they’d have if they were directly seeded.
This warmer and brighter environment is often obtained through the use of equipment such as heating mats and LED lights. These do a great job of simulating the conditions necessary for seeds to germinate and grow. Typically, heating mats are used in the initial steps of seed starting to help with sprouting while the use of LED lights comes afterwards. Both methods should be used in moderation. Just as in a natural environment, there should be a period of the day where these tools are turned off to allow for rest.
Seeds will also need to be “hardened off” in anticipation of their eventual transplanting. The seedlings you start indoors are, understandably, acclimated to indoor conditions. Hardening them off is a process by which leave seedlings outdoors for a certain period of time to get them used to growing outside. Growing seedlings indoors and then directly transplanting outdoors without hardening off first may lead to stunted growth and poor production.
This is just a brief overview of seed starting, we’ll be glad to go further in depth during our Green Thumb Workshop Series’ Seed Starting classes which you can sign up for at vinesgardens.org/events !