How To: Start Plants from Seeds

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With a bouquet of gorgeous daffodils on the table it seems official that Spring is springing, birds are singing and...it still feels a little bit cold. But no matter, it's garden planting time and whether you have an acre to cover or a couple of pots on a porch there's something satisfying about growing a garden from seed (especially since most people haven't done it since kindergarten). If you're intimidated, don't worry. We've rounded up a step by step for starting seeds indoors where you can keep your eye on those little seedlings:

1. Choose your crop. Tomatoes, cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias and these top ten vegetables to start from seed are a good start.

2. Find containers. Remember in kindergarten you used old yogurt cups or cottage cheese containers and that will work now too. Just remember to punch some holes in the bottom for drainage. You can also reuse pots you already have but don't use pots that have mold or slime on them, that could hurt your little babies. You can also try the wet paper towel technique for germinating seeds. We've had the most success using tomato seeds.

3. Good dirt. If you have good soil in your garden you can use that to fill your containers, otherwise buy some organic potting soil and some worm gold and make a mixture for each container.

4. Read the packet. This is important because different seeds need to be planted at different depths. The back of your seed packet will tell you what that seed likes.

5. Spritz some water. You don't want to drown or wash the seeds to the bottom of the container, so spritz the soil with water to keep it moist.

6. Light. Once the seedlings germinate they want lots of light so put them in front of your brightest window.

7. Transplant. Once the plants have grown their second set of leaves, you can transplant them carefully. We like Sunset's images that show how to do this carefully.

Do you grow plants from seeds? Have you had more luck with certain plants or have any other tips or tricks to share?

Top Image from Elements in Time, Creating an Edible Landscape

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