14 Tips for Starting Your Own Seeds
Ensure that your plants are organic from start to finish by starting your own seeds.
Start your own seeds and you can be sure that your plants have been raised organically from first to last. And by sprouting and nursing your own seedlings, you don't have to wait for warm weather to get your hands dirty. Best of all, starting your own seeds is easy and fun. Here's how to get started now:
Place sure bets
Some plants lend themselves to home germination better than others. Surefire vegetables include basil, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Some reliable annual flowers are alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias. Perennials include Shasta daisies, columbines, and hollyhocks.
Get the timing down
To calculate when to sow your seeds, go to our seed-starting chart, print it out and then fill in the blanks. Then you will have a planting plan you can follow through the season.
Reuse last year's nursery flats if you have some around. Otherwise, any container 2 or 3 inches deep will do. Punch holes for drainage into the bottom of containers and set them into trays. Protect against plant disease by thoroughly cleaning all used containers: Wash them in hot, soapy water, and rinse with a dilute solution of household bleach and water. If you want a less-irritating substitute for the bleach, use distilled white vinegar.