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Starting Plants from Seeds

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed.

Purchase seeds of your favorite or hard to find plants from a garden center or catalogue.  Purchase or clean and reuse old containers.  Or, make your own by punching holes in yogurt, cottage cheese or fast food containers or folding newspaper into biodegradable pots. 

Fill the containers with a well-drained potting mix or a sterile seed starting mix. Be sure to check the back of your seed packets for information on when and how to plant your seeds. Plant the seeds a depth about twice the seed diameter and gently water. Cover the container with plastic or one of the pre-fab domes; that helps hold moisture and humidity in and speed up germination.

As soon as those seedlings sprout, it's time to move them to a sunny location or better yet, under artificial lights. You're well on your way to a beautiful garden season.

A bit more information:  Long leggy seedlings are reaching for the light and need to move to a sunnier window or under artificial lights.  Keep the lights about 6 inches above the tops of the plants for best results.  Some gardeners put the lights on chains to raise and lower as needed.  Run the lights 14 hours a day and turn them off at night.  Running them longer will not help the plants, wastes energy, and your money.

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