If you are planning to grow a garden this summer, now is prime seed planting time. It’s a relatively simple process to start from a seed and end up with beautiful, juicy tomatoes this summer!
You’ll need seeds, soil (use a soilless mix for healthier plants without the threat of soilborne diseases), containers and a light source. Use containers with drainage holes. You can reuse those plastic clam shells from the grocery store or use trays with individual cells.
The seed packets will say when or if you should start the seeds inside or wait and sow directly in your garden. Peppers and tomatoes, for instance, need to be started indoors in order to have enough time to produce ripe fruit in Minnesota. If you’re wanting to enjoy the fruits of your garden longer, start some seeds indoors for early harvest and then plant seeds directly outside later, giving yourself a staggered crop.
In this climate, most gardeners wait until May 15-20 to plant crops outside, so count back as many weeks as your seed packet indicates to start them. Label your containers, especially if you are growing multiple varieties of the same plant.
Fill your containers with two inches of soil and plant as indicated. The packet should tell you how deep to plant, but generally it’s a depth two times the size of the seed. Set very small seeds on top of the soil and dust them with a fine layer of soil. Water gently so you don’t disturb the seeds and place somewhere with good light. A grow light is best, but you can use a window and rotate them daily so they don’t stretch to one side.
Happy seed starting and let us know what fresh foods you’ll be enjoying from your garden!