Gardening is relaxing, challenging and rewarding--especially if you start from scratch and plant seeds. Start seeds outdoors when the weather is appropriate for the particular plant. They can be started indoors at any time. If you have any questions about what flowers grow best in your area, contact your local cooperative extension office. Then, get planting.
Fill the seeding tray with the seed starting mix to within 1/4 inch of the top.
Water the soil well, allowing the excess water to drain from the bottom of the tray. Give it a good soaking.
Plant the seeds into the starting mix, according to the seed package directions. Some seeds can be merely sprinkled on the top of the soil, others need darkness in order to germinate and need to be pushed into the soil. A general rule is to plant the seed one and a half times its length.
Place the seeding tray into the plastic bag and seal it with either a twist tie or a rubber band.
Place the bagged tray on the heating mat. Set the temperature of the mat to 75 degrees.
Check the soil daily to make sure it isn't drying out. Use the misting bottle, set at a fine spray, to mist the soil, if needed. If a white, powdery substance appears on the soil, it could be fungus. Remove the bag for a day or two and it should go away. You can then put the tray back into the bag.
Remove the tray from the bag and turn off the heat mat when the seedlings appear.
Plan to pot your seedlings into small planting pots when they have two sets of leaves.