As the cold gray winter days continue, I have added a little “sunshine” to my life by starting some seeds! While it is much too early to get plants started in the garden it is not too early to try sprouting some seeds indoors. Those little green sprouts provide a reminder that Spring will be here soon.
Starting seeds indoors does require a little effort and attention, but does not have to be expensive. There are many items that can be recycled into potting containers. Egg cartons, plastic produce containers and even toilet paper rolls can be used for sprouting seeds.
Seeds sprout best in a light weight soil so for best results utilize a blend of seed starting mix and potting soil. Seeds will require watering every day and sometimes even twice a day until they sprout. I use a water bottle with holes poked into the cap to create a fine sprinkle that won’t drown or disrupt the seeds.
Find a warm and sunny spot to encourage sprouting and consider a supplemental light source. Seattle does not have enough sunlight at this time of the year to get vegetable seeds to germinate consistently, so a grow light can ensure success. I keep my lights on the seedlings for about twelve hours per day. Heat mats can also encourage plant growth or you can set up your planting station near a heat source.
A great resource if you are just getting started is the Indoor Sun Shoppe, at 160 N. Canal Street just down the Burke Gilman trail in Fremont. This long time Seattle business has been providing local gardeners with supplies and advice since 1970. They have a great selection of house plants and succulents and a variety of grow light options and everything else you need for seed starting.
So shake off those winter blues and bring some light into your life! Nurture your seedlings now and get a head start on your spring plantings. Vegetable gardening can feed your soul and your belly at the same time!