Look online and you’ll find tons of gardening tips for growing beautiful, healthy outdoor plants. Unfortunately, these tips usually assume you’ve purchased live plants from the garden center. What if you prefer to sprout your own plants from seed? After all, it is almost that time of year.
Starting plants from seed, especially when done indoors, provides a better germination rate, because you can give them much closer attention. And, it gives you a head start on the spring gardening season.
Northern Utah is still in the grip of winter, but let’s be honest – you can’t wait to get your hands back into the soil. Starting your seeds indoors can scratch that itch to get back to gardening.
Seeds for outdoor plants are widely available online and through mail order gardening catalogs. And, if you’re looking for rare, unusual or hybrid plants, you may prefer to tap these resources.
However, many gardeners prefer to buy seeds – and get their gardening tips – from a local garden center. Locally owned, neighborhood garden centers like Millcreek Gardens offer a wide variety of options, and our experienced staff can offer the best advice on which types of garden plants are best-suited for our growing zone and climate.
When choosing seeds, don’t buy more than you can use within the next year or two. As time passes, seeds become less likely to germinate.
Cell flats are ideal for starting seeds, but you can also use small individual containers or bio-degradable peat cups. Or, for a more budget-friendly approach, look online for gardening tips for turning recycled plastic yogurt cartons or eggshells into seed-sprouting containers.
You’ll also need a good planting mix. Choose a variety that is blended specifically for seed germination, rather than traditional garden or potting soil. Gardening soil can contain weed seeds, fungi and other organisms that will hinder the growth of your sprouts.
New sprouts often look exactly alike. To keep track of what’s growing where, use gardening markers or popsicle sticks to label each seed container. Finally, if you don’t have a good source of light, you may also want to consider using a grow light. If you start your plants in an area without sufficient lighting, they may not grow well.
Timing is important when starting seeds indoors. Plant your seeds too soon, and they may outgrow their gardening containers and become root-bound before the weather has warmed up enough to allow for transplanting.
Most seed packets offer gardening tips for when to start the seeds, typically a certain number of weeks before the last expected frost date. Look to the seeds’ packet for the specific number of weeks. If you don’t have that info handy, most pro gardening tips advise startingaverage last frost date.
Visit Millcreek Gardens today and let our helpful associates answer all of your questions about starting your outdoor garden plants from seed. We have all of the seeds, planting mix and tools you’ll need for this year’s perfect garden at our expansive Salt Lake City garden center. Stop by today for even more pro gardening tips.