Simple Steps to Success: Fruit and Vegetables in Pots ,
Sowing Seeds in Trays is Inexpensive

Step 1: Clean Used Seed Trays

Use hot water and detergent or soak in a sterilizing solution and rinse before you begin sowing. Fill a tray with multipurpose or seed compost, and use a second tray to gently firm it to remove air pockets.

Step 2: Scatter Seeds Evenly Over Compost

Pour seeds straight from the package or sprinkle them from the palm of your hand. Sow thinly to prevent waste and overcrowding, which results in spindly seedlings that are more prone to diseases.

Step 3: Lightly Cover Seeds With Sieved Compost

Label the tray with the plant name and date. Water gently with tap water using a fine rose to avoid disturbing the seeds; avoid stored rainwater which can cause damping off disease.

Step 4: Place Tray in Propagator

Place the tray in a propagator or cover it with clear plastic to create the warmth and humidity needed for germination. Keep in a light place, such as on a windowsill, but not in strong sun. Remove the cover as soon as seedlings emerge.

Step 5: Transplant Seedings

When the seedlings have a few leaves transplant them into seed trays or small pots. To do this, water the seedlings, then hold a seed leaf and loosen the roots with a dibber or pencil to gently tease each one from the compost.

Step 6: Get Trays Or Pots Ready

Have ready seed trays or small pots filled with multipurpose compost, then water and allow to drain. Dibble a hole in each compartment, insert a seedling, and gently firm using the dibber. Water and label.

Step 7: Harden Off Seedlings

After a few weeks, harden off the seedlings by gradually exposing them to the outdoor environment. Place them outside during the day and bring them in at night, or place them in a cold frame and gradually increase the ventilation.

2 Comments About this How To

  • Robin Lunsford
    WE, WIFE & I, started some of our vegetable seed indoors 2 weeks, I hung a grow light above the table our seedlings are doing great. We have a 3 bedroom home with only the 2 us in it. When we get thing planted we will post pictures. We have a very small yard but use Beds to grow things. We also made deals with neighbors who have bigger yards to help with gardens in their yards.

    Posted 1 year ago

    Flag this Comment
  • HGTVMallory
    I can't wait to see photos! What are you growing this year?

    Posted 1 year ago

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Tender plants and half-hardy annuals and perennials are started indoors, since they need artificial warmth or frost-free conditions. The seeds of most hardy plants can be sown indoors, too, if you want closer control of their germination and early growth.