Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 1
February 2008
 
Seed Starting
 
 
  Seed Sowing  
 

Carefully place the prepared seeds on the growing medium in the containers. You can use seed planter sticks that have tiny cups at each end large enough to hold one seed. I prefer using an old, dull, pointed knife to pick up each wet seed and drop it onto the planting medium. When I use seeding trays with sections approximately 2" square, I usually plant no more than four small seeds (basil, parsley or tomato) or one large seed (snow pea) in each. Evenly space the seeds. This can be tedious, but I prefer careful planting to thinning out dozens of seedlings that have grown together.

 
     
 
Planting
 
 
Basil seeds (left, on tip of dull knife) and a larger snow pea seed (right)
 
     
  Cover with fine vermiculite and dampen the growing medium using a spray mister to ensure the seeds don't move around during watering. Cover the tray with plastic to keep the soil moist—if the seeds dry out, they won't germinate. I place toothpicks at the corners of the pots and stretch plastic wrap, which is inexpensive and effective, over the whole tray.  
   
  Place the seed tray in a warm spot, such as on top of the refrigerator. Remove the plastic for a short time each day—you don't want mold and mildew to develop in the pots. When more than 50% of the seeds are showing green growth, remove the plastic and move the tray to the light.  
 
                 
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