How to Start Vegetable Seeds
Seed starting is pretty basic. Mother Nature actually does most of the work, all you have to do is not get in her way.
Getting in Nature’s way is pretty easy, though. We try to get a jump on the growing season by starting plants indoors. This leads to low-light, low-temp and high humidity conditions. These are the perfect conditions for virus, fungus and mold organisms.
Bottom heat helps seeds start quickly, and many types of seed require warmth too germinate instead of rotting in the ground. This is especially true of beans which need warm, fast germination.
Good light, either natural or artificial is needed to keep the seedlings happy, short and stocky. If not enough light is present the seedlings will elongate to reach the light, become weak and spindly, and eventually fall over.
Sterile media and containers are required to prevent disease organisms from killing the seedlings. Clean used containers in a 5% – 10% bleach solution using a bristle brush to remove all material from the containers. Some suitable containers are foam egg cartons, 6-packs from previous purchases, yogurt pots, dixie cups, newspaper pots, and purpose-made seed trays.
Seed starting material must be sterile. Soil-less mixes are best. Peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and various mineral compounds for nutrients are the basis of many good commercial mixes.
Plant the seeds just as deep as directed on the seed packet. Cover the seeds with light material (the fine-cut seed starting mix is perfect) or the seedlings may not have the strength to emerge from the ground.
Water the newly-planted seed trays in a water bath. Let the water soak up from the bottom. This dislodges any air pockets, settles the media, and assures that the the seed is in firm contact with the moist media. This is the preferred watering method even after the seedlings have emerged. Watering from above may damage the stems, it creates wet leaves which promotes disease, and it spreads any disease spores to other plants.
This video shows you how to start seeds successfully, the very first time you try. It’s really easy to do, and the video shows you how to have the plants you want when you want them.
Does the system work? You bet!
Here is just part of a single day’s harvest from seedlings shown in the final shot… Each plant cost about 3 1/2 cents to grow, and produced 2 to 4 pounds of tomatoes a day. That is good return on investment…
Varieties shown include Black Krim, Sweet Persimmon, Yellow Perfection, Ace, and Costolutto.
You can results like this from your own garden, just follow the steps in the video.
Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to be notified of upcoming video lessons. We’ll cover an entire season of organic growing techniques.
Read the next article: Tomato Gardening