Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Start a Vegetable Garden from Seed in Your Home

How to Start a Vegetable Garden from Seed in Your Home
by Jennie Lyon
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Did you know that you can start your own vegetable garden from seeds in your home? Not only is it true, but it is super budget friendly, green and fun for the entire family. When choosing the vegetables that you want to grow, remember that plants such as tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and peppers need a longer period of time to grow. Starting them from seeds in your home is a great way to grow plants that will produce a full harvest throughout the season.

What you will need to start growing at home:

* Assorted Organic Seeds.
* Reusable Plastic Greenhouses, Trays, Flats or Pots.
* Expandable Peat Pellets or Soil.

How to get started:

1. Place a pre-soaked peat pellet or moistened soil inside each container. Make a small hole in the center of the peat pellet or soil and sprinkle seeds into the holes. To determine the planting depth, consult the seed packet.

2. Cover the seeds with the recommended amount of moistened soil. Cover the seeds and place them in a sunny south facing windowsill. Label the containers with the name of each plant and the date that the seeds were planted.

3. In 7-10 days the seeds will sprout, at this time thin them until just one plant is remaining. Using a pair of tweezers will give you expert precision when thinning the seedlings.

How to transplant:

1. When the seedlings develop their adult leaves (usually within 4-8 weeks), it is time to transplant them into larger pots.

2. My family uses 4" reusable pots that are filled with potting soil that has been moistened. Choose a warm and sunny spot in your home for the plants to continue to grow. If you do not have somewhere for the larger potted plants to grow, you may want to consider growing them under fluorescent lights. My family has started our garden in our basement for many years using this method.

3. Once the plants are large enough to be moved outside, you will need to harden them off. Hardening them off means that you are getting the seedlings ready to be planted outside. In Springtime, to harden the seedlings off, you will need to sit them outside in a shady spot during the day and them bring them back into the warmth of your home at night. Gradually, move the seedlings to a sunny spot in your yard during the day. After 7-10 days of hardening, your seedlings will be ready for planting in your garden.

Keeping your veggies happy in the garden:

Once your vegetables are planted in your garden, you will want to provide them with a regular supply of water, keeping the soil moist, at least until the seedlings put down their roots. Using mulch in your garden is an excellent way to keep the soil moist. Remember to weed your garden on a regular basis and to use natural pest control remedies to keep the creepy critters at bay.

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