on April 21, 2014
The members of our deer fencing company love gardening, so we’ve put together our own how-to guide for seeding:
- Make sure you have all necessary supplies. Peat pots or other pots
and planters, tools, potting mix, seeds, plant markers, watering
supplies, grow lights, fertilizers and heated seed germination equipment
are just some examples of what you may need. Check out the Seed Starting section at Mastergardening.com for a complete list of products.
- Plan your garden and choose your seeds carefully. Be sure to read
the instructions on the back of each seed packet for the zone in which
you reside. Follow the recommended timeline (for example, planting three
weeks before the last frost) to achieve optimal results.
- Loosen and dampen potting mix before putting it into peat pots or
other seed starting containers. The mix should be thoroughly wet but not
- Fill peat pots (about 2/3 full) with prepared potting mix. Tap the
bottom of the pots on a hard surface to settle the potting mix. Avoid
packing the mix into the peat pots.
- Plant at least three seeds in each peat pot. Remember to read the
instructions as some seeds require pre-soaking or chilling. Cover the
seeds with soil according to instructions and water them again. Be sure
to use plant markers for easy identification later.
- Using any type of plastic, cover the peat pots loosely. The plastic
will hold in heat and moisture like a greenhouse but must be removed as
soon as seedlings begin to emerge.
- While waiting for seedlings to emerge, keep the soil moist, but not
drenched. The ideal temperature range for seed germination is 65 to 70
degrees F. Heating mats or seed growing systems are great options.
- Once the seedlings emerge, they will need between 12 and 18 hours of
light each day. A fluorescent or high intensity plant light is the best
- Once the seedlings grow true leaves (not to be confused with the cotyledons that emerge at first), fertilizer should be used.
- At 2-3 inches tall, the seedlings can be transferred to larger pots.
If two or more seedlings have grown in the same container, cut off all
but the strongest seedling. Remember to cut instead of pulling out
unwanted seedlings as roots may be intertwined.
- Allow two to three weeks to introduce seedlings to the outdoors
gradually. To do this, move your seedlings to a shady spot for
increasing amounts of time each day. Gradually increase their time
outdoors (protecting them from inclement weather). Remember to water the
seedlings before and after planting.