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

Are you longing for signs of spring so you can start working in the soil again? Do you notice how soft and clean your hands have become? Don't sit there daydreaming, it's time to get those hands back in the dirt and treat your nose to the welcome scent of moist earth.

  Getting Started  

Browse seed catalogs for varieties not readily available at your local garden center. Consult fellow gardeners about seeds you can share—there are usually more than 30 seeds in one package (sometimes hundreds), except for the rare, new species, which may have only five or 10 carefully-counted seeds.

  Make a list and check it several times, reducing the number of seeds each time. Don't plant too much; every seedling will need to be planted in a larger container before spring and eventually planted in the garden. Sketch your garden's dimensions on quad-ruled paper, where 1/4" = 1'. (If your garden is small, you can sketch it out to 1/2" = 1'.) Draw circles to represent the mature size of your selected plants and to help determine how much space you have to work with. From there, you can prioritize your planting list. Remember, tomato seedlings grow into large tomato plants and if you overcrowd them, they will become thin and spindly, producing little fruit.  
Assorted seeds
A selection of seeds
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