February 1, 2010
Seed Starting Information
I am excited about starting my new seeds indoors... Did I mention before that I was excited?
Anyways, I found some info that may be helpful to anyone who is interested in saving some $$ this year and starting your own seeds indoors.
First, HERE is a great article by Nancy Bubel at Mother Earth News. It is Seed Starting Basics. It give good, simple info on starting your little seeds right the first time!
Second, before you start your seeds you want to know an approximate date of the last frost in your area. I searched with my Swagbucks toolbar and entered "last frost date". I was actually able to come up with several answers. Unfortunately, all different. I had looked up that info last year, and for my home, the last frost date was something like April 25th. According to last year (as far as I can remember), this date seemed accurate. But I was trying to find a good source to post here, and got dates from May 1st, to May 23rd! Quite a difference! But, if you find a reliable source that you think sounds about like the last frost date in your area, figure back 8- 10 weeks. That is the date you will want to plant your seeds. I remember a woman at a local greenhouse telling me once that they start planting their things on Valentine's day. So, if it is good enough for a successful greenhouse, it's good enough for me! If you are unsure of a frost date, you could call a local greenhouse (if they have hours this time of year OR call your local county extension office. I'm sure they would have info for you.).
Third, don't buy a bunch of expensive equipment! This probably should have been first... but I had to fit it in here! It is definitely NOT needed, especially for doing small scale! The only thing you may need to do is set up a lamp for extra light. A seedling needs about 12 to 13 hours of light a day. Which in Indiana, this time of year, we DEFINITELY don't get that. so, last year I set up 2 desk lamps, I turned them on first thing in the morning, and turned them off about an hour or 2 before I went to bed. I had them in the warmest room in our home (there is a corn burner 10 feet from where I had my seed table). And this year the only thing I am going to do different, is I actually purchased some plastic trays to start them in. Last year I started them in egg cartons. This worked but with very little soil, it was hard to transplant when they needed more for their root systems...
And lastly, keep your small children away from the seedlings. I learned this quickly when I found my then 1 year old in the middle of a dirt/ carton mess... SEVERAL TIMES. I know. You can hardly believe that my littlest angel would do such a thing. I did too. But, I will never make THAT mistake again! :)
So, I challenge you this year! Plant some seeds! Start some garden plants, flowers, or herbs in your home! It is fun (well, not like PARTY fun...) and rewarding to see those little seedlings pop through the soil... then to pick tomatoes from the vine of a plant you started from seed...
Linked to Frugal Fridays on Life As Mom!