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Seasonal Tip

Planting Seeds Indoors
July 09, 2010

Step 1. Select an appropriate work area and spread some newspapers or trash bags over the surface to make cleanup easy.

Step 2. Open the bag of seed starting mix and moisten it, if needed, so that it will form a ball in the palm of your hand.

Step 3. Fill the peat pots with the mix and gently firm it down to 1/4" below the rim of the pots.

Step 4. Read the instructions on the back of the seed packets for how to plant the seeds and follow them.

Step 5. Once you have planted all of the seeds, label the pots and place them back into the plastic flat.

Step 6. Using the mister bottle, heavily mist the planted pots until they are thoroughly wet.

Step 7. Cover the flat with the clear plastic dome and place it in a warm location away from direct sunlight.

Step 8. When the first seeds sprout, prop the dome lid open. When all of the seeds have sprouted, remove the dome lid and place the flat in a warm, sunny window that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.

Step 9. Check on the seedlings each day to see if they need to be watered. Only water them when the soil looks and feels dry. Use a large tablespoon to water with so you do not wash the seedlings away. Plant roots need air to breathe too, so do not water when the soil is still moist or wet, as you will drown them.

Step 10. After the seedlings have grown three sets of leaves, they need to be nourished with a good houseplant fertilizer at the dilute constant feed rate.

Step 11. When the weather out-of-doors is at least sixty degrees you may place the flat outside in the shade to "harden off" the seedlings. Over a two-week period gradually move the tray to full sun.

Step 12. Carefully cut the peat pots apart with safety scissors and plant in well-prepared garden soil, planting "pot and all." Make sure the peat pot is completely covered with soil, otherwise the wind and sun will wick (draw up) the water out of it causing the seedling to dry up. Water thoroughly and as needed thereafter.

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