Planting Your Garden: The First Steps

Spring hopefully, is just around the corner and in anticipation you might be getting ready for some planting or pruning action. I know my husband is, he just pruned the roses, which I thought weren’t supposed to be done until March, but he says any time after President’s day is fine (unless you’re in one of those states that keeps getting hit by snow, then you better hold off a little while longer.)

But if you’re in Seattle (like us), or somewhere just a little warmer, now is the time to start your baby seedlings indoors and watch them grow, flourish, and become big and strong enough to take on the outdoors.

You can begin with seeds from a packet or seeds from last year’s harvest, or you can even take the easy road and purchase pre-sprouted seedlings from your local gardening supply shop. Whichever you choose, you’ll be watching over these little darlings in their first days and weeks of tender life, and that’s a precious time for any gardener.

So first of all, make sure that you have a safe, warm area for your seedlings, one which receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and won’t be knocked over by family members or wayward pets. Usually a window ledge or top of a bookshelf will do nicely.

Once you have the spot picked out, it’s time to set up the nesting area.

Ooh, speaking of nesting, if you have problems with birds (or other creatures) outside being where they don’t belong, here’s a site I just found that can take care of that problem. Get Rid of Birds Here.

OK, anyway, back to the PLANT nesting. . .

You can use a variety of containers for seedlings, anything from a black-plastic flat to Dixie cups to egg cartons. Last year Jeff bought a warmed seedling hatchery.  It was a long flat seedling planter that you plugged in and kept the little plants warm.  Worked pretty well!

But if you don’t have one of those, you’ll really be starting from scratch. So here’s what you need to do: Fill your containers with a little gravel in the bottom to assist with drainage and to keep the container from tipping over easily.

Then fill them the rest of the way with soil, and pop in seeds. Moisten each thoroughly, and cover them tightly with plastic wrap. This will help retain warmth and moisture, and quicken their growth.

Now all they need is sunlight, continual gentle moisture, and time. After a few days, or up to a week depending on the type of plant, you should see little sprouts beginning to peek through the soil. At this point you can remove the plastic wrap and say hello to your new precious babies!

If you haven’t gotten your seeds yet, Gardeners Supply still has their sale going on – Free Shipping at Gardeners Supply.

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