January is the time of year associated with new beginnings and fresh starts. It's also the perfect time to start thinking about starting seeds for your garden.
I've come a long way in starting seeds, from putting seeds in plastic cups on my window sill to having dedicated equipment for seed starting that allows me to start thousands of plants each year.
Let's dive into a few things that will get you off to a great start in seed starting. (Hint: it's all about quality)
1. Good seed starting medium
Good plants start with good soil. When I first started gardening over a decade ago, I would purchase an old soil to start my seeds. Not surprisingly, I had mixed results. Now I use a specific seed starting mix. This is my favorite:
I use this mix to make soil blocks, my preferred way to start seeds.
You can also find lots of YouTube tutorials on making your own mix.
2. Good quality seed
The seeds you buy really make a difference in plant health and quality. My favorite seed sellers are Johnny's Selected Seeds, GeoSeed, Redemption Seed, and Seed Savers Exchange. I've had fantastic results from each of these companies.
3. The right light
Have you ever started seeds in a window only to end up with wild, leggy plants that die after transplanting? That is probably because you didn't have a good light source and your plants strained to get enough light. We use grow lights to start all our seeds and tubers. There are many options for lights these days for big or small operations.
4. Tough supplies
As someone who is very concerned about the amount of plastics we use, I always try to ensure any plastic I purchase will last season after season. This is why I'm such a fan of the seed starting trays from Bootstrap Farmer. While these trays cost quite a bit more than trays from your local hardware store, these trays take a beating and will last decades if treated well. You can find them here:
5. Winter sowing
If you want an easy, effective, and low maintenance way to start seeds, check out winter sowing. I find it works best for cool weather crops like spinach, snap dragons, lettuce, and calendula. You can learn more about the steps here: https://www.kinshipflowerfarm.com/post/winter-sowing-101
I hope this information gives you the confidence and knowledge to start some spectacular plants this year. Happy Growing!