It is March fellow Preppers. The month of March is important to us, it is when we can start our seeds indoors for the upcoming summer garden. This will be my families 3rd season of gardening...still new at this skill. We started gardening because we saw it as a very important self reliant skill that we needed to master. It also fits very nice into our Bugging In theme for this series.
Now, how do we know when to start our seeds indoors. There is a great tool from Urban Farmer that breaks each state down into temperate zones for planting. Follow this to determine when to start the seeds indoors, when to transplant them to your garden, and finally when you can expect to harvest your bounty.
In the past I have tried to do the window seal starters. This really has not worked out that great for me. The plant starter shoots seemed thin, weak and never really grew once I transplanted them to my garden boxes. This year I purchased a grow light with a stand that fits great over a Jiffy 72 slot starter tray. Very important to get the T5 bulbs to ensure you get the high output.
So here is what I have to get started today; 72 Cell Seed Starting Tray, Miracle Grow Potting Soil, Seeds, and Grow Light.
A good potting soil is a must. I have had great success with Miracle Grows potting soil. Before putting the soil in the tray I like to get it damp first. I spread it out and add a little water and mix it around. I make sure not to over do it however, I just need it damp.
Now here I just take scoops of the damp soil and pile it onto the starting tray. This gives me an opportunity to push the soil down into the cells in bulk. This will ensure that when I put water in the bottom portion of the tray box that the soil will be able to suck up the water towards the seed. Again, I try not to compact the soil too much. I want those roots to have an easy job of spreading throughout the cell.
Once I have filled all the cells I brush off the excess soil from the top.
Now using the guide from Urban Farmer I planted my first seeds of the year. Using a pencil I make a hole at the required depth from the seed manufacturer. I always put two seeds at a minimum in each hole. Some seeds just won't germinate so I don't want one slot to go wasted. I flag what seeds I have in each row just because I will forget what I put where.
All that is left to do is give the little guys some water, put on the tray lid and put under the light.
Getting started early like this may allow me to get in 2 crops with a few products. I really want to try and push that growing window this year to see if I can maximize our harvest. And if all goes well we will have plenty of canning to do late summer.
I would love to hear about how you start your seeds indoors and to what scale you have built it too.