Confucius said, “If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of 10 years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”

It is quite rewarding to start your seeds indoors and a great feeling of accomplishment. Visiting your favorite garden center and selecting the flowers, vegetables and herbs you’ll grow for the upcoming season tends to bring out your indoor-farmer gene. What a great “field-trip” to the greenhouse with the kids to explore what generation after generation did to grow their own crops and beautify their lives with flowers.

With thousands of choices of seed packets to choose from, it’s best to have a plan. Ask yourself a few important questions:

  • What can I start indoors and later plant outside?
  • How much space do I have?
  • What does the family want to harvest in the fall?

Seed packets themselves are like little works of art, featuring great pictures of the mature plant, detailed growing information, facts and what to expect. This year, there is a trend toward heirloom varieties and USDA Certified Organic seed. The bonus of picking and growing your own seed packets is, it’s exactly what you want to grow. You are in control of your own food and herb source.

Here are a few tips on how to get started so you can grow seeds indoors:

  • Start seeds four to eight weeks before the plant-out date (average date of last spring frost).
  • Choose a container with drainage holes. You’ll find a great selection at most mom-and-pop garden shops.
  • Use a rich, well-drained, weed-free soil mix. There are many excellent pre-packaged mixes available.
  • Fill container but do not pack soil tight.
  • Follow the instructions on the seed packet.
  • Water with fine spray, cover with clear plastic or dome and place in a cool room (60-65 degrees), and keep away from direct sunlight until germination.
  • When seeds sprout, move them gradually into sunlight. Thin plants, to ensure light and health.
  • Water seedlings carefully, not too wet or too dry.
  • About a week prior to planting outdoors, gradually expose seedlings to longer periods of direct sun and temperatures, reduce watering to harden off plants.
  • Prepare outdoor garden and plant when temperatures allow.

For more info and insight, read Growing Plants From Seed and check out this great website on seeds at www.botanicalinterests.com. Enjoy getting in touch with your inner farmer.

What flowers and plants are you growing indoors?