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Tips to Starting Your Garden Seedlings

Seedling Trays and dirt

I love the time between February and May for one simple reason. It's when I can start imagining my garden for the new season. If you're from the midwest like me you know this time of year can be the hardest with extreme cold and winter blues. I like to spend this time deep diving into what I want the summer to spring. This year is no different other than I may have started my seedlings a bit early. My husband would say two months too early but what does he know.

Let's start with the basics of starting seeds.

Tip #1 - What do you need

There are a few products that make seed starting super easy. Good soil. You can use seedling starter soil like Espoma or the soil I used this year was FoxFarm. I highly recommend using these growing trays with no drain holes. This allows you to water your seedlings from the bottom vs. watering from the top. Seedlings like to be mist and if I'm being honest I simply do not have the time to mist all 128 pots I have daily. These growing trays hold 12 of the 6 cell seedling starter trays and 32 of the 2 inch individual growing pots. I like to start with the 6 cell seedling trays and upgrade once the seedlings have outgrown the small cells. You can go straight to the 2 inch pots, however keep in mind the germination requirements that are needed for the plants you are planting.

Tip #2 - Heat & Light

Seedling Heat Mats

For germination to happen you need a lot of light. If you don't have a large window that gets tons of sunlight I would recommend grow lights and heat pads. This is the first year I used a grow light and heat mats and let me tell you it made a HUGE difference. The germination was solid and my seedlings emerged several days before I was expecting. I was able to add some grow light bulbs right under all my seedling trays but if that wasn't an option for me I would be purchasing these grow lamps. I love that the lamps have clips. I am super impressed with these seedling heat mats, they are perfect for getting the germination rocking and rolling. I've been starting my seeds for the last 3 years and like I said my seeds emerged way sooner than I was expecting and give majority of the credit to these heat pads.

Tip #3 - Trial and Error

Behind every successful gardener there is a multitude of dead plants, missed sowings and a handful of showing failures. We all start at the beginning with everything new we try so if you don't have success this year please keep trying. My first year with seedlings was a flop but I was determined to be successful.

After 3 years of starting seedlings and 4 years of growing in the garden I can say with certainty that gardening is so much more then growing plants, its about you as a person growing alongside your plants. Learn, fail, learn some more and fail some more but keep trying! Thanks for reading, I hope this post provides you with some knowledge. As always I'd love your feedback and please check out my other blog posts all about my passions.


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