Last week I wrote about how to take the first steps to start seeds. As promised, here’s a follow-up on what to do once your seeds have germinated.
You are going to need a light source. We use regular fluorescent lights. You can find them at local hardware stores. There are all sorts of expensive “grow lights” at the hardware store, but we have managed to get along without them. We have a frame to hold lights and plants on the front porch that Jim put together by hand. Our porch is unheated so we rely on an incandescent bulb and a clear plastic tarp to create a sort of greenhouse effect.
It’s important that your new seedlings be positioned within an inch or less of the lights. Don’t worry about burning them, they will be fine. If they are more than an inch from your lights, they will quickly get leggy and will be weakened.
Something important to mention is that not all vegetable varieties have to be started indoors. Check your seed packages before planting. Just to throw out a few, Swiss chard, peas, beans and lettuce can all be directly sowed in the ground. It’s worth it to take a moment to read about each thing you are trying to grow – even if it’s just a quick look on your seed package – to see the recommended start date and place.
At our homestead, the peppers are up and the tomatoes are just sown. With our upcoming move, we’re not sure about where, when and how we’ll be planting, but we have faith that it will happen. Happy growing, readers!