When starting seeds indoors, the goal is to have hearty seedlings by the time it's warm enough to plant outdoors. Here's some tips to get started:
Choosing the Right Container
You can start seeds in almost any kind of container that will hold 1 to 2 inches of starting medium and has holes for drainage.
Seed-Starting and Potting Mixes
Seeds contain enough nutrients to nourish themselves through sprouting, so a seed-starting mix does not have to contain nutrients. It should be free of weed seeds, retain moisture, and provide plenty of air spaces. We recommend using a seed starting mix or McDonald All Purpose Potting Soil.
The package instructions will give you details for spacing, however, here are a few rules of thumb:
- Space large seeds at least 1 inch apart, planting 2 or 3 seeds in each pot (snip off the weaker seedlings later).
- Plant medium-sized seeds ½ to 1 inch apart, and tiny seeds about ½ inch apart.
- If you’re sowing only a few seeds, use your fingertips or tweezers to place them precisely.
- Cover the seeds to a depth of three times their thickness by carefully sprinkling them with light, dry potting soil or seed-starting medium.
- Be sure to label the seeds so that you know what you have planted.
Each packet of seeds will offer a germination time frame and that is the how long it will take the seeds to sprout. The packet will also recommend a time frame when planting the seeds indoors. Remember, here in Hampton Roads, the average last frost date is April 15 and you shouldn’t plant tender seedlings outdoors until after that date.
If you have any questions on this process, please see one of our experts at any McDonald Garden Center.