Some plants take a lot longer to grow than others, which can be challenging for us gardeners who live in cold weather climates. But there is a secret to getting ahead start on the season: start your garden indoors!
Planting your seeds indoors is actually a great way to get ahead start on the gardening season. Starting indoors allows you to really maximize your harvest and ensure your plants are in full bloom for the start of spring. Broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions are some of our real estate agent's favorite plants to start inside. In fact, we thought it'd be helpful to pull together a list of tips to help you get started with your own indoor gardening this year:
- Use A Good Seed Starting Mix
When starting seeds indoors, you need to plant them in a seed starting mix. These mixes don't actually contain soil or nutrients, rather they're made from ingredients like compost, perlite, and peat moss. Regular garden soil holds too much water, which prevents seeds from sprouting. The key to a good seed starting mix is finding one that strikes the right balance between water retention and drainage.
- Make Sure Your Container Has Holes
It really doesn't matter what type of pot or container you use, so long as it has enough holes on the bottom. Holes allow for both proper water drainage and adequate oxygen exposure for your plant's roots, both of which are critical for growth. Plastic flats or even biodegradable pots both work well for planting seeds indoors.
- Plant Your Seeds at Just the Right Depth
Your packaging should tell you exactly how deep you should plant your seeds, but if it doesn't, here is a good rule of thumb: Your seeds should be planted two to three times deep as they are wide. Small seeds may only need to be placed a fraction of a centimeter beneath the surface of the soil, while larger seeds may need to be one to two inches deep.
- Maintain The Right Conditions
For your seeds to grow, they need to have the right combination of conditions. You want to try to keep your soil damp but not full of water. Your seeds should also be placed in a warm (but not hot) area, away from any cold air drafts. Once they start to sprout, 65 to 75 degrees is the optimal temperature for growth. Light exposure also becomes more important once your seeds begin to sprout. If your home has great light exposure, like many of these Belleville homes for sale, then you should be in good shape. If not, extra fluorescent lighting is a great way to get your plants the light necessary to grow indoors.
- Begin Fertilizing
Since your seed sprouting mix doesn't actually contain any nutrients, you'll want to begin fertilizing once you see one to two leafs sprout. However, you should only use a half-strength fertilizer until the plant matures. You only need to fertilize once or twice a weak, so be careful not to overdo it.
We're always looking for new ways to step up our gardening game. If you're thinking about starting a home garden this year, contact us for more tips today!