WHEN: A little planning makes seed starting more efficient. Seeds with long germination periods – the amount of time it takes a seed to sprout – are ideal for starting inside. Pike Nurseries recommends most annual vegetables be sown indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date (early to mid-April in the southeast). Tender vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are a few top picks to start now!
HOW: Gardeners can begin their seeds with a seed starter kit. Most kits include soil pods, a seedling tray and a clear cover that seals the tray to mimic a mini greenhouse – keeping the environment warm and humid for seedlings to thrive. Gardeners can also choose biodegradable pulp pots which can be placed directly in the ground when it’s time to plant! They can also get creative and recycle common household items such as egg cartons or yogurt cups. Be sure to clean these items out and poke a few drainage holes in the bottom before planting.
Use Black Gold Seed Starting Mix, which is light and fluffy, to allow tiny new root systems to push through effortlessly. Beginners should keep the recommended planting depth in mind; the back of the seed package will indicate how deep to plant. A good rule of “green thumb” is the larger the seed, the deeper it should be planted. Pike Nurseries’ experts suggest using a pencil to make a hole for the seeds. Drop in one seed per pot, but depending on how small the seed, gardeners may include a few more. New plant parents should insert labels into the soil for every type of seed, using popsicle sticks or plastic plant markers to record plant names and dates.
Consistent moisture is key! Gently water the newly planted seedlings until the soil is moist, but not soaking wet. Place the seeds near a sunny window that receives a full day of bright light. Seedlings can be transferred outside once the air temperature outside is about the same as inside the home.
Pike Nurseries delivers convenience to customers’ front doors with an online request service. Locals can select seeds, plants and other garden essentials from the comfort of their home – available for doorstep delivery or curbside pickup.
For more information on Pike Nurseries, please visit www.pikenursery.com.