This time of year we start to think of spring. Soon the crocuses and daffodils will start to bloom and planting our vegetable gardens will be close at hand. There are a couple of different options for starting vegetables. One way is to purchase vegetable starter plants. Sometimes this can be costly. A low cost way would be to grow your own vegetable transplants. This can be very rewarding and often you will have a few left over to give to family and friends. You should time planting your seedling so they will be ready to plant outside when the weather is warm enough for the plant to survive.
To start seeds to grow transplants you will need:
- Clean containers: Vegetable starts can be grown in all sorts of container; egg cartons, yogurt containers, etc., but they need to be clean and have holes in the bottom for drainage.
- Seed starting mix: You can get this at garden stores in the spring. Top soil or garden soil should not be used because it might contain diseases that are harmful to the seed or young seedling.
- Seeds of your choice: Always check that the seeds were packed for 2014.
To plant the seeds, moisten the seed starting mix and fill the containers. Place the seeds at the depth suggested on the seed packet. The recommended depth is usually ¼ inch to ½ inches deep. Often people plant seeds too deep and the seeds rot before it reaches the surface. Make sure you label the container with what type of vegetable and variety it is. Place the container in a warm sunny place. Once the plant emerges, be sure to turn the container often so the seedling will grow up straight. Every couple of days, stick one finger into the soil and if the soil seems dry at one inch deep, it is time to water (sometimes the surface of the soil seems dry but below the surface the soil is wet). Water gently. It takes between 4-8 weeks to grow most vegetable seedlings.
For more information about gardening, contact Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County Office at 216.429.8200.
Courtesy of Jacqueline Kowalski, Ohio State University Extension Educator
For more gardening tips, check out Burten, Bell, Carr Development’s Summer newsletter!