Starting Seedlings Indoors Now for Spring Gardening

by Kristina PhelanMarch 7, 2019

It may seem strange to talk about spring planting when many areas around the country still have snow on the ground. But now is the perfect time to begin thinking about all things seeds. Planting early, while it is still too cold outdoors, is an essential part of prepping your garden for spring. Consider starting seedlings indoors now for spring gardening with these quick tips.

1. Find A Container

Consider getting started with seedling trays available in any home or garden center. These containers usually have a clear lid to help keep the soil warm and moist. You can also use upcycled seed containers like yogurt cups, metal cans, or anything that is clean and can hold a small amount of soil. Plant seedlings together in a group but know that you will need to separate them when transplanting outdoors.

2. Choose A Spot

Seedlings need water, soil, and warmth to germinate and sprout. You should place them near a southern facing window that will offer enough warm light. Choose the spot carefully, since some windows can be drafty and make the soil too cold. You could also use grow-lights if you don’t have an area that receives natural light. Try a few spots in the house before choosing the perfect place or try placing plants in different areas to find which one works best.

3. Pick Your Seeds

Choose which seeds you want to plant. You may want to start those cool-season vegetables indoors while the ground is still frozen. This allows the seeds to get a jump start so you’ll have more produce once you move the plants outdoors. We recommend choosing cool season vegetables like peas, lettuce, and broccoli. You’ll reap the fruits of your labor at the beginning of the season.

Consider starting some warm season vegetables indoors as well. This is done with those varieties that take longer than 90 days to mature. Plants like watermelon and cantaloupe are easy to start indoors. Planting them now will allow you to harvest the melons at the beginning of summer.

4. Time It Right

There is the possibility you’ll have some large plants indoors before the last frost appears. This can be the tricky part of starting seedlings indoors. But, if you know the usual date of the last frost in your area, you should be able to figure out when to start your seeds. Check the back of seed packets to see how long the plant will take to mature and consider starting seeds about 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Larger plants should be okay as you near the last frost date as long as they have enough water and sunlight.

After the final frost, you can transplant the plants into your garden or in larger outdoor pots. Starting seeds indoors towards the end of winter is a great way to get a head start and extend your growing season. Consider these tips for starting seedlings indoors now for spring gardening

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About The Author
Kristina Phelan
Kristina Phelan is a freelance writer and her parenting column, Mama Bear Moxie, is printed in a few newspapers across the country. She lives on a farm in the Midwest with her husband, three kiddos, and too many animals.

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