“Planting Seeds”

 

    Star-Tip 1043

Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens

 

Growing flowers, herbs or veggies from seed is quick, easy and economical.  Starting your seeds indoors will protect them from unexpected weather and insects.  Here are some handy tips to get you started.

 

Plant seed indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to transfer plants to the garden.  Use plantable peat pots or pellets, multi-celled Mini Greenhouses or small clay pots to start the seeds.  A complete planting mix like Dr. Q’s Filthy Rich has everything you need for healthy seedlings.  Be sure the mix is pre-moistened before you plant.  Add water at night, squeeze out the excess next morning, and you’re ready to go!

 

Plant the seeds according to package instructions, usually a few per each cell or pot, and watch planting depth carefully.  Too much mix on top may smother the seeds and prevent germination. 

Mix together ½ teaspoon of Dr. Q’s Plant Tonic into 1 quart of bottle or R.O. water, and water your new plantings. Put the clear top on the greenhouse or cover tops of pots or egg cartons with a layer of clear plastic wrap.  This will keep your soil from drying out while seeds are germinating.  Add water as necessary through the bottom of the greenhouse or pot.  Place your containers in an area with stable temperatures and bright, indirect light.

 

When the seeds sprout and show 2 complete sets of leaves, remove the covering and place the containers near a south-facing window or on the patio where they will get some sunlight.  Rotate the containers every 2-3 days to prevent seedlings from bending to reach the light. As the seedlings begin to crowd each other, snip off the weaker ones with scissors.  Don’t pull them out or you may disturb the roots and cause them all to die.  You should eventually have one strong plant per pot or cell.  About 3 weeks after seeds have sprouted, fertilize them lightly with the same mixture of Dr. Q’s Tonic as above. Gradually strengthen seedlings by exposing them to a few hours of direct sunlight and outdoor temperatures for a few days.  Keep out of the wind and don’t let them dry out.  Those small pots don’t hold much moisture!  When the roots begin to grow through the bottom of the pot or cell, it’s time to transplant your flowers into the garden.

 

Planting your new “Starts” in the garden means good soil preparation first.  Add enough organic material to your beds to make a difference in soil texture.  Usually 25% or the soil should consist of amendments like PaydirtÔ Planting Mix or Humus-Gro. Work these amendments into the top 6-8 inches of soil.  Amendments improve the drainage in heavy clay soil and increase water- holding capacity in sandy soil. Stop by Star Nursery or go online to www.StarNursery.com and get Star Note #100 “Planting Guide” for complete planting information.

 

Water frequently for short periods while your plants are small.  As they grow and become more established, water longer and less often to encourage deep rooting.  Add a 1 to 2-inch layer of mulch during hot weather to cool the soil, retain moisture and prevent weeds.  An inexpensive soaker line can be placed under the mulch layer.  This provides water directly to the roots and prevents fungus problems common with overhead sprinkling.  Don’t bury the hose in the soil.  Plant roots will seek out and clog the soaker line.

 

Fertilize your plants regularly.  Use a fertilizer like Dr. Q’sÒ Flower Food every month for continuous bloom.

 

 

 

Things you Need!

 

 

 

 

 

Your Packet of Seeds

Clay Pot

Saucer

 

Potting Soil

Dr. Q’s Plant Tonic

 

 

 

 

 

© 2007, Star Nursery, Inc.                                                    Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com