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It's February, Which Means Start Some Seeds!

Published on NewsOK Published: February 4, 2013
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To learn the process of germinating and transplanting seeds, I recommend reading a publication by your local cooperative extension service, like this article published by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Just to give you an overview of what you will be doing: Start by hydrating your seeds. Some people skip this step; others swear by it. Next, you'll germinate the seeds. Place seeds in a sunny place on damp paper towels. Mist the seeds to keep them moist for several days, until their little "tails" poke out from the seed's shell. Next, you'll plant the germinated seed in soil. Don't plant it in clay pots; you'll need to start your seeds in shallow plastic containers. Used yogurt containers with holes poked in their bottoms, or plastic seed pot trays, are the best containers for starting seeds. Place clean potting soil into the plastic containers, and then submerge the germinated seed in the soil. Cover the seed with soil tightly (pack it down) and moisten the soil. At this point, you have the option of sprinkling some activated charcoal or chicken grit on top of the soil to prevent "damping off." Cover the containers tightly with plastic wrap secured by rubber bands. Place in the sun or under a grow light. Do not water until the seed has sprouted. At that point, you can remove the plastic cover and water only when the soil is dry to the touch. When the time comes, you'll transplant the baby plants to larger pots and place them outside. Most gardeners in cooler climates acclimatize the plants to cooler outdoor temperatures by exposing them to the outdoors for several hours a day for a few days before permanently transplanting them to outdoor beds or containers.

Talk to me. Tell me about your failures and successes starting plants during the winter in the comments!

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