Starting vegetable seeds indoors can be a great way to get a head start on your garden and ensure healthy seedlings for transplanting. Here are some steps to follow:
- Choose the right containers: You can use small plastic or peat pots, trays with compartments or even egg cartons. Make sure the containers have drainage holes at the bottom.
- Fill the containers with seed-starting soil: Use a high-quality seed-starting mix that is lightweight and sterile. Don’t use garden soil, as it can contain weed seeds, diseases, and pests.
- Plant the seeds: Follow the seed packet instructions for planting depth and spacing. Generally, small seeds need to be sown shallowly while larger seeds can be planted deeper.
- Water the seeds: Use a gentle stream of water to moisten the soil. Don’t flood the soil as it can displace the seeds. Cover the containers with a plastic dome or plastic wrap to retain moisture.
- Provide warmth and light: Seeds need warmth and light to germinate. Place the containers in a warm area with a temperature of 60-75°F and provide 12-16 hours of light daily using grow lights or a sunny window.
- Keep the soil moist: Check the soil daily and water when it feels dry to the touch. Don’t let the soil dry out completely or become waterlogged.
- Transplant the seedlings: Once the seedlings have developed their true leaves and are big enough to handle, transplant them into larger pots or outdoors in the garden. In the Staten Island climate, the safe day for vegetables outdoors is generally after Mothers Day.
By following these steps, you can successfully start vegetable seeds indoors and enjoy a bountiful harvest. Wiesner Bros. Nursery has a wide array of seed varieties to choose from and a staff with ample knowledge to help get you started.