January is a Great Time to Start Your Garden from Seed

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Starting your garden from seed is a great way to save money, that is if you are not a seed collector and if you do your research and plan. I don’t consider myself a seed collector, however I craft my garden very carefully, growing high quality and unique seeds. I find gardening as an opportunity to grow varieties that are most often not seeing at the grocery store, in addition we live in the country and this is a way to access something different. If you’re interested in gardening from seed, I recommend starting with the veggies and plants you are most likely to eat and if this is new to you, I recommend growing a handful of plants, this way you are able to keep track of everything.  

Starting seeds indoors allows you to get a head start, some gardening zones have a shorter season, and this allows you to grow a larger selection. Here in Kansas, as you know, the winters can be long and seed starting helps you get ahead of the season.

Speaking from my own experience, the items you are most likely to need are:

  • High quality seed starting soil
  • High quality seeds
  • Compostable or reusable containers
  • A south facing corner window (you will need to turn your plants everyday) or a seed starting light
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Permanent marker

Most of these items are available at your local greenhouse or online, and if you are unfamiliar with the process ask for the horticulturalist or garden master at the greenhouse and they will be able to guide you in the right directions. There are many online sources and experience seems to be the best advise I’ve gotten, yet these sources are great research.  I truly believe in making this process simple, once you have some experience, you can learn to experiment, going simple doesn’t mean it won’t work it also does limit you to some plants. For examples, some plants thrive with certain humidity levels and some require a heating mat. I’ve invested in a grow light and heating mat this point, because it does make the process simpler, I also knew I was passionate about seed starting and the investment made sense.

The following plants are good for beginners to start indoors:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Squash

Something I want to add, is that you should read the seed packet carefully and don’t throw it away. All the secrets to that specific variety of seeds should be written on the back of the packet. I keep all seed packets I might order again, and I go the extra mile and keep a spreadsheet with the variety, company, seed starting details such as days it takes to grow, how much spacing is needed between each plant, and whatever else I find important. I find gardening goes better when planned of time. Keeping inventory and dates for transplanting and harvesting allow me to plan around my garden.

Remembering to keep it simple and start out with a few plants, find out which garden zone you are in to know when to start your seeds and don’t forget to water your seedlings daily. Until next time, happy gardening!

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