I am so glad the weather is finally starting to get nice here in the northwest part of the country. This means that it is time to think about getting outdoors and playing in the dirt. Before that can happen, I like to start my seeds indoors and get a head start since I live in an area where the last frost can still happen as late as May. Starting seedlings indoors is easy and you can even do it with recyclable materials and for a low cost. That's the thing about gardening that I love- It doesn't have to be expensive and can actually be a very frugal thing to do. If you are starting your garden early, here are 5 ways to start seeds indoors.
5 Ways to Start Seeds Indoors
Make a mini-greenhouse with things you would typically throw away like yogurt cups and plastic salad trays. This is a great way to use these items and keep them out of the landfill longer.
Save eggshells from a 12 or 18 pack of eggs that are mostly intact and the egg shells can be used for starting seedlings. This is an excellent way because the egg shells will provide an extra boost of nutrients to your seeds and allow them to grow strong.
Learning and Yearning has a great tutorial on how to turn ordinary newspaper into cups to start your seedlings. What's great is the paper is biodegradable so it works well for this process. You don't need much newspaper to make a lot of these cups, either. A normal Sunday newspaper can make quite a few.
Save your paper (cardboard) egg cartons and you could use them to start your seeds like Dream Garden 101 does. This one is probably one of the easiest ways to start seeds, but it can be a bit tricky to get the seedlings out when they are ready to transplant.
Start saving toilet paper rolls and rolls from paper towels and you could start your seedlings in them like AZ Plant Lady shows you. I heave heard this is an easy way, but due to watering, the toilet paper rolls can unravel a bit. Fix this by packing them in pretty well and letting them support each other.
When to Start Seedlings Indoors
You should start your seedlings indoors about a month to a month and a half before you expect your last frost in your area. You can check when frost is expected to end approximately by this tool that shows the dates of frost ending.
If you have seedlings that are ready to go outside, and you are still experiencing frost, it won't hurt them to stay in the containers for a week or so, so don't think that it has to be exact. It is just very important that you don't transplant them too early or it will be a certain death for them!
Tips on Growing Seedlings Indoors
Make sure there is enough moisture and drainage. Growing seedlings that are healthy and strong require special loving care.
If you don't get enough natural light, consider buying some artificial light as most plants need at least 12-14 hours.
Cover at night. This will help keep them moist and allow them to grow strong.
Do you have any tips for growing seedlings?