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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

GROW: THE JOY OF SEED STARTING

For gardeners everywhere, we are approaching an undeniably exciting time — spring is near! As for us, we’re a few short weeks away from our annual Spring Open House, so we’re extra excited to see all of you in our greenhouse again. Now is the time to start thinking about all things green, like starting seeds for this summer’s vegetable garden. If you’ve tired starting your own seeds, you’re in for a treat. Not only does it save save you money, it’s a rewarding practice that extends the gardening season and allows you to get to know your plants a little better. And it’s easy. Here are the basics to get your started:

  1. Select your seeds:
    This is half the fun! There are so many varieties out there – from your grandparents favorites to new gourmet vegetables.  New this year, we’re excited to be carrying West Coast Seeds, an amazing organic seed collection from right here in Canada. They offer an assortment of untreated, non-GMO seeds with some truly unique heritage varieties we just can’t wait to try (wasabi radishes, anyone?).
  2. Set the stage:
    While grow lights are becoming more and more popular, you can have a great deal of success with a simple set up on a sunny windowsill. Egg cartons or other upcycled containers work well, but our pick is a handy windowsill starter kit that includes everything you need to start your seeds with confidence.  It’s important to use seed starting soil, which is light enough for seeds to sprout through, and a heating mat which will help to speed up germination time. 
  3. Plan your schedule:
    While it’s tempting to start as soon as possible, planting too early means you run the risk of plants being ready for planting before the ground is. A good rule of thumb is to start seeds about six to eight weeks before you wish to plant them outdoors. To make sure you get it right, consult this germination chart for our Zone 3 climate — or the instructions on your seed package — to ensure you’re planting at the optimal time for each variety.
  4. Plant:
    Simply plant your seeds following the directions on your seed package. Remember to plant a few extra of each variety to account for those seeds that may fail to germinate, and be sure to clearly label each pod.
  5. Take care:
    Make use of a spray bottle for watering in the early days of germination. From there, keep the soil moist and never allow it to dry out. Let them bask in the sunlight and your seedlings will be sprouting before you know it!

Happy Seed Starting! 

Want to learn more? Join us on Saturday, March 11 for our FREE Indoor Growing and Seed Starting Class and save 20% off all seeds and seed starting materials from March 4 – 11.  

Words + Photos by Sarah Carson @the.botanical

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