Local gardeners and seed savers gathered at Heritage Farm last weekend for the annual Seed Starting Workshop. Each participant left with a tray full of starts and a notebook full of planting tips. Here are a few highlights:
- No pots? No problem: Use egg shells! Poke a hole in the bottom, crack and plant your eggshell starter pot when ready.
- Add 30-40% compost (i.e. nutrients) to your seed starting soil mix. Mix should be damp (not wet) before planting.
- Consistent water (amount and time of day) = happy starts!
- Avoid over-filling trays and losing seeds when watering.
Even distribution and compaction of potting soil will help you determine a consistent watering regiment, which is key for healthy starts.
Planting seed too deep is one of the major causes of low seed germination.
Introduce stresses (e.g. wind and direct sun) gradually and one at a time when hardening off your starts.
- Optimal germination temp = optimal grow temp + 10 degrees (most plants). Remove heat once your starts are up.
- Using a grow light? Get it close to the soil for healthier starts.