Time to Start Seeds Indoors!

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It’s the first week in March already!  Typically, the last frost date is Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May each year.  This year, it is on May 12th.  So, this is the ideal time for us to get our seeds started indoors for the vegetables and flowers that I want to include in my garden this year.

This is the ideal time to start my cool leaf vegetable crops such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, swiss chard, cauliflower and broccoli. 

The first thing that I do, as a landscape designer in the Denver Metro area is think about what I want to grow and where I’m going to grow the different varieties in my yard.  For example, I have sketched a plan of where I’m going to plant my different varieties of vegetables.  This will help determine how many plants I’m going to need from my seeds.

Materials needed:

  1. Flower and vegetable seeds
  2. A seed pan (or cell packs), there will be drain holes in the bottom
  3. Seed starting soil mix, important as this product is “light” enough to allow for the seeds to germinate
  4. Spray bottle with water
  5. Plastic wrap or plastic cover (these come with a “Seed Starting Kit” that you can locate at your local nursery supplier)
  6. Water

Remember that all your materials should be clean if you used the same trays as last year (you can use a 10% Clorox and water solution to disinfect).  Use fresh soil, not from the garden. 

The following is the step-by-step directions of how to plant seeds:

  1. I’ve found it easiest to first dampen my seed starting mix a little before putting it in the individual cell packs.
  2. Fill the cells with soil about ¼” below the rim.  You can press the soil down a little but, avoid compacting the soil too much.
  3. Plant your seeds.  You don’t need to push them down very far.  You should plant the seeds about ½” apart in order to allow room for growth and for you to separate later.  This would mean a few seeds per cell.
  4. Cover the seeds with a little more soil, loosely on top.
  5. Next, spray the cells with water from your water bottle.  Just enough to get the surface wet, you don’t need to saturate the soil.
  6. Cover the tray with plastic wrap or your clear plastic lid.  This will help keep the soil evenly moist for your seeds to germinate. 
  7. Put your seed tray in a bright location but, not in direct sun.  The ideal temperature for the room that your tray is in would be between 70 – 80 degrees.
  8. Once your seeds germinate (which will be approximately 5 – 14 days), remove the plastic wrap or lid.
  9. Water your seeds when the soil is dry to the touch.
  10.   After the new seedlings have formed a couple sets of leaves, you can separate the seedlings into individual post so that they have the natural room to grow. 

If you have seedlings started but, need assistance planting your plants in the yard, please contact the Designscapes Colorado Enhancements team at 303-721-9003 or at info@designscapes.org – we’d be happy to help you.

Channel 7′s Bertha Lynn (denverchannel.com) and I will demonstrate how to start seeds on today’s news segment at 11:40 am.

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