Start Your Plants From Seeds
Propagating your own plants from seeds is much more rewarding and less expensive than buying seedlings from the garden supply shop. One of the first things you will need is a box or tray approximately 3 to 4 inches deep, 12 to 14 inches wide, and 20 to 24 inches long.
Once you have your planting box, fill it with a suitable seed raising mix. A good medium would be 80-85% washed river sand and 15-20% peat moss. If you prefer to buy a bag of seed raising mix, visit your local garden supply store. One you have your medium, fill the box almost to the top, and then pat down the medium firmly.
Prepare the medium for planting your seeds by making rows across the box. They should be one quarter to half inch deep and 2 inches apart.
The seed should be distributed 8 or 10 to the inch in the rows and then be covered. Move the box to a warm shaded place.
It is important to water regularly during germination, however the soil should be kept moist not wet. If the water starts running out the bottom of the box you are over doing it and the soil will become waterlogged. If this happens, the seeds could rot and fail to germinate.
If you can cover the box with a piece of glass or even saran wrap, this will hold the moisture, creating a microclimate, which will hasten germination. Once the seedlings germinate the lid can be removed and the seedlings can gradually be introduced to stronger light - next to a window would be ideal.
When the plants are one inch to an inch and a half high they should be thinned to one or two inches apart in the row, to give them space enough to make a strong stocky growth. If you wish to keep the plants that have been thinned, they must be planted two inches apart each way in boxes similar to the seed box.
When the weather becomes mild, the box of plants should be set out of doors part of the time so that the plants will harden in preparation for transplanting to the garden later. Give the seedlings a good watering just before transplanting so that a ball of earth will stick to the roots.
By raising seedlings in this controlled climate of germination, they will be hardier and flourish. You will also have the added satisfaction of having done all the work yourself.
For more information on gardening, visit the link at the bottom of the page.
About the Author: For more information, visit http://gardensupplyguide.com and http://www.gardeninfocenter.com David Chandler, The Stock Market Genie. For your FREE Stock Market Trading Mini Course: "What The Wall Street Hot Shots Won't Tell You!" go to: http://www.stockmarketgenie.com