Starting Seeds... Easy as 1,2,3
By Michele Brown of Possum Creek Herb Farm
Just because it is cold outside, doesn't mean you have to wait until spring to do something with your green thumb. Starting seeds is one of the most economical and satisfying projects that just about anyone can do. You will need the following items to begin your seed starting project: light, moisture, seeds, soil, and time. Most seeds, especially herb seeds, require light for germination. In this case, light refers to warmth. Warmth and moisture creates the germination process causing the seeds to break their casings and stretch out of the soil.
In a shallow tray, clean egg carton or pot, mix together a very lightweight seed starting mixture of vermiculite, spaghnum moss and sand; mixing and moistening well. Make sure your containers have drainage holes. Following the directions for planting depth on your seed packages, make rows using a pencil or other blunt object. Sprinkle your seeds down the rows using a light hand, pat the seeds into the planting mixture and lightly cover your seeds. Remember that some seeds do not require being covered by the planting mixture but the seeds do need to be patted into the planting mixture. Make sure the rows of seeds are marked. All seeds look alike when they are germinating and it may be weeks before it is apparent what the seeds are. Cover the seed tray with plastic wrap and place in a warm area with lots of light. When the seeds have germinated, take the plastic wrap off and place under grow lights or in a really bright sunny window. Now is the time that the seedlings need their sixteen hours of light per day. Make sure that your seedlings are getting their moisture, but don't over water or the disease called damping off could occur and ruin all of your hard work. Once the seedlings have their second set of leaves or their true leaves, they can be planted in a good lightweight potting soil.
There are many good seed companies and these companies will be more than happy to send you their spring catalogs. Trouble is you will go crazy deciding which seeds to choose from! There are literally thousands of different seeds to choose from such as herbs, vegetables, heirloom flowers, everlastings, grasses and so on. Enjoy starting your plants from seeds and watch your garden grow.
About the Author
Owner of Possum Creek Herb Farm where we grow herbs and scented geraniums for mail order through our catalog and website. I have been studying all aspects of herbs for the past fifteen years and have put my knowledge of growing herbs into a business. This is our second year of business and we have added several new items to our catalog. You will find potpourri, herb plant collections, lavender stems and informational booklets. We are being featured in a book about starting an herb business, which is being written by the editors of Entrepreneur Magazine. The book is due out in Sept. 2001 and is yet untitled.