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Seeding Tips

March 3, 2013 6:45:43 AM PST
Are you anxious for spring and ready to plant in the garden? Now is the time to start seeds inside, so you're ready to go once the weather gets warmer.

Tara Heibel, owner of Sprout Home, came into our ABC7 studio to show us tips on seeding.

Tara's Tips:

1. What does 'heirloom' mean?

  • An heirloom plant has been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Heirlooms are raised from seeds that are at least 50 years old and are open-pollinated.
  • Strong, disease-resistant and flavorful, they look different from the veggies and fruit that you see at most supermarkets that are commercial hybrids and normally have sterile seeds.

1. Germination time and days to maturity matters.

  • Germination time is the time in which you will see the plant starting to grow
  • Maturity is the time it will take to see the plant at its best and/ or produce edibles or flower for you.
  • In our cold climate you need to make sure that there is enough time in the season to start said plant and see it through.
  • The longer the maturity time frame the sooner you might want to start inside.
  • Look at the package date. Seeds are packaged annually, and as time progresses, they will lose viability.
  • Buy pre-designated seed trays that have everything all set up for you, or go the DIY route and use leftover egg cartons.

2. Key growing conditions are high humidity and even moisture.

  • The seeds should be covered in some way as to procure humidity, but you will need to open the cover once in a while to give them a breather as to not invite fungus.
  • The soil should be evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • When the seeds are first started, keep them in bright filtered light.
  • As they harden off (develop the first set of true leaves), they can be transplanted and slowly acclimated to receiving direct sun.

3. Once the fear of frost is over, you can begin to move some of your newly started specimens outside.

  • There are plant selections that you can move out earlier than others.
  • Leafy greens such as lettuce and kale are prime candidates to move out and harvest early.
  • By harvesting early it provides succession planting, meaning you can start with planting another crop in the same area for the summer season.

Starting Seeds Indoors

Saturday, March 16, 2013
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Sprout Home
745 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago
Fee: $20 (includes 2 packs of seeds & 6 starter pots you can take home)


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