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Growing from Seed - Start Seedlings Indoors

If you would like to germinate own seeds into seedlings for outdoor planting, then you should begin by finding a suitable location in your home where plants will grow well. They must have bright light; therefore, a windowsill in a sunny location is best. When there are no windows that can provide the adequate amount of light, you can supplement the existing window light with artificial lights. Germinating vegetable or flower plant seeds can be simple and easy if you invest a little time in the project.

Although all plants need some light to grow, young seedlings will need more intense light than adult plants. You can start your garden seeds on a sunny windowsill or shelf and achieve good results. Remember to rotate the plants a quarter turn every few days, as they have a tendency to grow towards the light and will become lopsided.

Typically, seedlings thrive with cycles of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark in one twenty-four hour period. It all depends on the plants you are growing. Be sure to turn them every now and then, as they will bend towards the light. Keep your seedlings moist, but not wet, when caring for them, as they can be very susceptible to mold. An overabundance of water can cause mold to grow. Outside, of course, spring usually comes with rain, but that doesn't mean plants outside stay saturated, and neither should yours.

Don't fertilize your seedlings unless you are using the hydroponic method. The seed and the soil you use supplies all the nutrition the plant needs. Fertilizers can kill your plants, if they are overused. They create a situation where the plant cannot get water from the soil, and without water, there is no photosynthesis.

As outdoor planting time nears, young plants raised indoors are not used to outside weather. They need to be toughened up or as some call it, hardened off. Set your plants outside in a sheltered spot, preferably in the shade. Set them out for a half a day to begin with, and gradually leave them out longer. You can slowly move them into windier and sunnier spots to get them used to life outside. Follow this routine for at least a week or two before you transplant them into the garden. When they are finally outside to stay, protect them on cooler nights with a sheet or some type of covering.

Before planting time rolls around, think about seed starting indoors. Getting your seedlings big and hearty enough to survive outdoors can be a nurturing and satisfying experience. Knowing that the vegetables you are eating and the colorful flowers that fill your home came from a tiny seed that you coaxed into a healthy and producing plant can only be described as empowering.

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