For many gardeners, a hobby greenhouse can create a bubble of warmth and greenery in the dead of winter. In spring, a greenhouse is a good way to start the growing season early by nurturing seeds into seedlings. These tender seedlings can be moved outdoors and placed in the garden just when the soil is ready for planting. But if you want those plants to thrive, you must give them the right start in your greenhouse.
Fill a seedling tray with peat moss. Water with a watering can so that the peat moss becomes as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
Create a planting pocket in your seedling tray by pushing aside peat moss with a popsicle stick. Place the seed into the planting pocket and push the peat moss over the top of the seed. In general, seeds should be planted twice as deep as the seed is tall. Refer to the planting instructions on the back of each seed packet for more specific instructions.
Cover the seedling flats with a plastic bag or plastic dome to hold in moisture that the seedlings need to germinate. Place the flats where they receive at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily. Remove the plastic cover when the seedlings germinate.
Place the flats in a tray filled with water when the soil becomes dry. Water will wick up from the bottom of the tray. Check the flats daily to determine if they need watering.
Fill peat pots with peat moss for transplanting seedlings when they outgrow seedling flats.
Create a planting pocket in the center of the peat pots that is slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling.
Remove the seedling from the tray gently by pushing on the bottom of the individual cell of the seedling tray. The seedling and root ball should pop out. Place the root ball into the planting tray and cover with peat moss. Water well.
Move peat pots outdoors during daylight hours to harden them off in preparation for transplanting. Continue to leave them in the greenhouse at night until the day of transplanting.