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Jump Start the Growing Season by Starting Plants from Seed

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed this year!

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed.

Purchase seeds of your favorite or hard to find plants from a garden center or catalogue.  Purchase or clean and reuse old containers.  Or, make your own by punching holes in yogurt, cottage cheese or fast food containers or folding newspaper into biodegradable pots. 

Fill the containers with a well-drained potting mix or a sterile seed starting mix. Be sure to check the back of your seed packets for information on when and how to plant your seeds. Plant the seeds a depth about twice the seed diameter and gently water. Cover the container with plastic or one of the pre-fab domes; that helps hold moisture and humidity in and speed up germination.

As soon as those seedlings sprout, it's time to move them to a sunny location or better yet, under artificial lights. You're well on your way to a beautiful garden season.

Long leggy seedlings are reaching for the light and need to move to a sunnier window or under artificial lights.  Keep the lights about 6 inches above the tops of the plants for best results.  Some gardeners put the lights on chains to raise and lower as needed.  Run the lights 14 hours a day and turn them off at night.  Running them longer will not help the plants, wastes energy, and your money.

For more gardening information, videos and tips visit my web site www.MelindaMyers.com

Also, here's more information on my upcoming garden walk at Boerner Botanical Gardens.  I hope you can join me!

 “DISCOVER HIDDEN TREASURES” GARDEN SERIES AT BOERNER BOTANICAL GARDENS with Melinda Myers
Series supports Children’s Education programs

May 16, 2012
6:30 p.m. 

Discovering Solutions for Your Garden

Boerner’s varied plantings provide solutions to the many challenges faced by gardeners.  Join Melinda to visit shady spaces, rock gardens, hot sunny spots, and rain gardens.  You’ll be able to use these plants and planting strategies in your own backyard!

To register, call 414-525-5659 Class size is limited - so please register early. 

Cost:

$20 per class for members of the Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens; $25 for non members.

For more information, visit www.MelindaMyers.com or www.BoernerBotanicalGardens.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

mau March 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I have been saving seed and starting my own tomato and pepper plants for many years. They are always very spindly when I transplant to the garden. With experience and care I rarely lose a plant. It may take a little more time to catch up but I end up with healthier plants and fruit. Plus they are acclimated to my soil and weather conditions. Every year I order some new seed of heritage varieties to experiment with. I do not use any grow lights as that defeats the purpose of growing my own plants naturally. And it eliminates the added expense of electricity. My process got interrupted about 3 years ago with the tomato blight. So I decided to experiment with more seed varieties.

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