Spring is definitely taking its time coming to NEPA this year. While the Garden Center has opened as scheduled, we know not many of you are really feeling spring fever.
There is one way to get spring started, without waiting for the weather to turn. You can get your seedlings ready.
Our great friends at Espoma sent us some tips that we wanted to pass along.
1. Dream big
Choose your favorite high-quality seeds from a huge selection. Starting hard-to-find or expensive plants from seed will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
2. Stock up
Get plastic trays with holes in the bottom or a seed-starting kit as well as an organic soil starter, such as Espoma’s Organic Seed Starter. An organic soil like this is made specifically to help your seedlings grow strong, sturdy roots in a healthy, safe environment.
3. Get plantin’
Fill seed trays to within ¼” of the top and lightly water. Then, follow seed packet instructions to see how deep and far apart to plant. Cover with soil, press down and label.
4. Water wisely
Water perfectly by placing tray in a larger pan of shallow water for a few seconds or up to a couple of minutes so the water seeps up from the bottom.
5. Find the right spot
Place seeds in a warm, safe place. To warm up a spot, place a space heater nearby or place trays on top of the refrigerator.
6. Take cover and wait
Loosely cover the tray with plastic wrap, or use the cover in your seed-starting kit. Check seeds daily for moisture.
7. Spot a sprout
Once you see sprouts, remove the cover and move seeds to a sunny, south-facing window that is 65-75°F. Then, turn the container a little each day to prevent leaning seeds.
8. Boost plants
When leaves grow, add a bit of fertilizer such as Espoma’s Plant-tone. Plant-tone is an organic fertilizer, so it’s safe to use on edibles and helps plants grow bigger than ever before.
9. Strengthen seeds
Check seed packets to see when to plant after the last frost. Before planting you’ll want to harden off seedlings. Hardening off is a process that gets seeds used to the outdoors. Simply place your tray outside for a few hours a day for 7-10 days. Each day, increase their time outdoors and reduce watering.
10. Plant permanently
Once the last frost date has passed, you’re ready to plant! Gently remove plants from containers without damaging the roots. Plant in a prepared bed and mix in organic starter plant food to keep them strong, such as Bio-tone Starter Plus.
You did it! Spring is just a step away – and so are your crisp, garden-fresh veggies and fruits!
Stop in to the Garden Center for more tips and to help spring fever come over you 🙂