Friday, March 11, 2011

How To Sprout Small Vegetable Seeds Indoors

It's the beginning of March and while all signs of frost may NOT have disappeared, you can begin planting sensitive food crops indoors. While most people can figure out how to plant seeds directly in small pots, with organic soil, I thought I might share a technique that my dad sometimes used to start very small seeds sprouting, such as tomato seeds, before he planted them in soil. In truth, I'm hoping to grow collard greens this year and because the seeds are rather small I'm going to start them this way.  (Note: collard greens are in the cabbage family and can be tolerate colder weather than other vegetable varieties - but I'm starting mine inside for fun.)

Step one: Gather three supplies. Water, old newspapers, and your tomato or other small seeds.

Step two: Open a sheet of newspaper and then open the seed packet and
Step three: Space the little seeds along one of the newspaper folds. (See image.) 

Step four: Spray the seeds with enough water to make the paper very damp. Then fold the newspaper so the seeds are tucked inside.

Step five: Spray the newspaper so it's really wet. Be sure to keep the newspaper wet for the next few days. 

Step six: Depending on how long it takes your seeds to sprout *usually 3-5 days) Unfold the newspaper and look inside. Your seeds now have roots and are ready to be planted in soil. Check your gardening zone. If it's too early in the season for your plants to go outside these can be potted indoors until the danger of frost has past. Otherwise, these seeds can be planted directly outside in soil suitable for the plant variety you are hoping to grow.

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