Entry #65, April 14, 2010
Last week I showed you how to get your kids interested in gardening by starting to sprout seeds with coffee filters. This week HGTV Canada has an article on sprouting seeds indoors. A good step by step guide. – Article by Veronica Sliva
First, you’ll need a container. Plastic flats are available in garden centers, but any container will do if it can hold 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) deep of growing space. Soggy roots mean death to most seedlings, so drainage holes are essential for excess water to escape.
Do not invite disaster by using soil from the garden. Garden soil is not sterilized and may harbour all sorts of insect larvae, bacteria and possibly disease. Sand is also a poor choice. It’s best to use only a sterilized soil. You’ll find a wide range of different mixtures designed specifically for starting seeds in the garden centres.
Start by moistening your soil. Most seed should be sown to a depth of twice its size. Some seed like impatients requires light to germinate, so you press them into the surface of the soil. Always read the instructions on the seed packet because some seeds have specific needs.
Humidity, Temperature and Light
A humid atmosphere encourages germination. You achieve this by covering the container with plastic which traps moisture and prevents evaporation. If light is needed for germination, use clear plastic.
Soil temperature affects the rate of germination too. Most seed germinates faster with bottom heat. Special heating cables are available for this purpose, but the top of the refrigerator works very well too. Once germination occurs, plants must be moved to a bright location.
As for light, fluorescent lights are great, but a south or west window works too, provided that the sun’s light is not so direct that it damages the tender new seedlings.
Visit HGTV Canada for the rest of the sprouting from seeds article.