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Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Prepare Your Starting Mix and Seed Cells Indoors

 How to Prepare Your Starting Mix and Seed Cells

Starting your seeds indoors saves you time, money and frustration. It is a lot easier to do then people realize. It does takes some work to set up a grow-light station but that is also easy to do and relatively inexpensive since it can be used for years. I have a video for building a collapsible indoor grow-light station. Starting seeds indoors also allows you to grow transplants that you wouldn't be able to buy elsewhere. The cost saving for starting your seeds indoors is huge compared to buying transplants. It is pennies versus dollars.

The most important thing you can do when starting seeds indoors is to make sure the seed starting mix and seed cells are well prepared before planting the seeds. The video highlights the key aspects to this process fully. Following these steps will get your seeds germinating in no time.

Here are the three keys and a personal tip:

  1. Pre-moisten your starting mix before you use it. Dry starting mix will delay germination and it slows initial water absorption. It will work if you use dry mix but it will take longer to get things rolling.
  2. Thumb-pack your starting cells. Make sure you fill the seed cells and then press the starting mix into the bottom of the cell with your thumb. Refill and you know have a well packed and stable starting base for your seeds to be planted and germinate.
  3. Water from the bottom. Watering from the top only splashes the seeds and seed mix all over the place and it takes a lot more of your time to water that way. It also spreads disease. Just fill the seed flat with water and let the seed cells absorb water from the bottom. Whatever isn't absorb after 20-30 minutes, just dump out.
  4. My tip from experience is NOT to use the seed dome. It only creates a disease filled humid environment that aids in 'damping off' diseases.

Check out the video for full details. I'll be doing a series called Three Minute Garden Tips for the 2013 season. This is the first video in the series. If you find this helpful, please pass it on. Thanks!

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