How to Start a Garden from Seeds

Starting a garden from seed is the most economical way to garden. Seeds are inexpensive and it can be an enjoyable experience to be hands on with your plants from seed to harvest. Seeds must be started before frost so that they will have reached a size that is able to be transplanted into the ground when the weather conditions are right.

Sunset Magazine has great tips on starting seeds indoors, including knowing how much light seeds need and what kind of soil or other medium to use. Pre-formed seed starting kits are available for sale, but it is just as easy and effective to roll up newspaper, pack with soil and plant a seed in the middle. Recycled yogurt cups or single serve milk cartons also come in handy for seed starting. Bear in mind that fragile seedlings should only be transplanted into individual containers when they have grown their second set of leaves. The very first stage of seed starting should occur in a large, fairly shallow tray.

Starting seeds indoors is a great experiment to share with the whole family. Every day a new little seedling will sprout up, given that it has been provided with adequate light and moisture. Approximately 2 weeks before you will be planting them in your garden, put them in a sheltered area outdoors for a few hours a day. This hardening off process ensures that the plants will be accustomed to the outdoors and will thrive during their growing season. 

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