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Tips for Seed Starting Success

Starting plants from seed can save you money, extend your garden season and be lots of fun.

But sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as planned. Here are tips for increasing your success.

Read the directions on the seed packet. Quality seeds provide all the information on indoor and outdoor planting dates, sprouting directions and seedling care.

Always start with clean containers and sterile potting or seed starting mix. You’ll avoid damping off and other diseases that can prevent sprouting or kill the seedlings.

Keep soil moist. Cover seeded containers with wet newspaper or plastic to conserve moisture and reduce your need to water. Remove once the seeds sprout.

Germinate seeds in a warm location. Most seeds sprout more readily in warm temperatures.

Move the seedlings to a sunny window or under artificial lights as soon as they break through the ground.

A bit more information: Clean previously used containers with a one part bleach and nine parts water solution. Then rinse in clear water. And look for new products to reduce your workload and increase success.

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