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Starting Plants from Seeds

Get a jump on the growing season by starting your favorite or hard to find plants indoors.

Start with some clean containers either purchase some or recycle or even make your own from newspaper. Fill with a well-drained potting mix or a sterile seed starting mix. Once the containers are filled, check the back or your seed packets. It contains all the information on when and how to plant your seeds.

Simply place the seeds on the soil surface and cover with about twice the seed diameter of soil and be sure to water them in well. Cover the container with plastic or one of the pre-fab domes; that helps hold moisture and humidity in and speed up germination.

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

A bit more information: Many of us save our left over seeds from one season to the next maybe longer. If you are worried about the seeds viability I have a simple test to help take the worry out of planting saved seeds. Take 10 seeds from the packet and roll in a moist paper towel. Place the paper towel in a plastic bag and seal. Place this in a warm out-of-the-way location where you won't forget. Check the seeds in 5 to 7 days. Remove them from the plastic bag, unroll the toweling and see what sprouted. If all the seeds sprout you can plant as directed on the package. If only half the seeds sprout double up your planting. If none have sprouted give them a few more days in the bag. If there is still no sign of life it is time to invest in fresh seeds. Some plants take longer to germinate (sprout). Check the back of the seed packet and extend the waiting period as needed.

And don't let the sprouts go to waste. Plant the sprouted test seeds in your containers or outdoors in the garden if the conditions are right.

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