Planning to grow seeds but have no space outdoors? Venture into indoor gardening by growing seedlings indoors. Growing seeds indoors is not only fun, but beneficial also. As the growing season begins, you will be ready with young plants. When seeds are sown indoors and plants are transplanted outdoors, they produce flowers and vegetables faster and for a longer duration. However, if you start sowing seeds when the growing season begins, your plants will grow slowly and may not bloom or produce fruits and flowers before the first frost. The best time to grow seeds is during the spring season, be it for vegetable plants or flower plants. Read on to know how to grow seeds indoors.
How To Grow Seeds Indoors
Collect all the supplies required for sowing seeds. These include containers with good drainage, soil, a selection of seeds, spray bottle, water and fork. There are a variety of containers to choose from: plastic flats, single cell plastic cells, peat pots or larger pots for transplanting seedlings into. Ensure that the containers have adequate drainage to prevent water logged roots. The soil should be loose and airy enough to provide room for the seeds to germinate and grow strong roots.
Fill Containers with Soil
Fill the containers loosely with soil and add water to dampen the soil. The soil should be moist and good before you plant your seeds. Doing so will prevent the seeds from getting drained to one side from heavy watering.
Sow The Seeds
Read the instructions on the seed packet carefully on how deep the seeds should be planted in the soil. This is extremely important since different seeds require different planting depths. For instance, some need light to germinate, while some should not be covered with soil and so on. Follow the seed packet’s sowing guide and plant the seeds thinly to facilitate easy and strong growth.
After setting the seeds at the right depth, mist them with a spray bottle. Keep the seeds damp and do not let the soil dry out completely. However, make sure that you do not over water the seeds and that they are not drenched with water.
Always keep the containers in a warm place, such as a sunny window sill. A south facing window is best for heat source in winter and early spring. This area prevents the container from direct sunlight, but provides the required heat.
Artificial Light Source
Seeds require artificial light when they sprout. Since excess heat and natural light can dry out soil faster, gardeners prefer to provide artificial lights to provide light to seeds. They are easily available at local home and garden centers.
Once the seedlings have produced a second pair of leaves, known as ‘true leaves’, transplant them to a larger pot to provide more room for growth. The pots should be filled loosely with fresh soil. Moisten the soil first and then proceed with transplanting. Using a fork, remove the seedlings keeping some soil attached to the roots. Place the seedling into the larger pot and fill the root loosely with more fresh soil.
Caring For Seedlings
Keep the seedlings moist in a warm and sunny place, until more true leaves have grown. Feed the seedlings with a household plant food, by following the instructions on the plant food.
Hardening Off Seedlings
The seedlings now have to get adjusted to the outdoors, before you transplant them into your garden. Place the seedlings in a sheltered area outside in the daytime and get them back indoors in the night. Stop feeding them a couple of weeks, before hardening off.
After one or two weeks of hardening off, transplant the seedlings into their new homes, the garden. For healthy and strong growth, keep the plants moist during the transition period.