Midday Fix: Seed starting tips from Chalet Garden and Nursery

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Tony Fulmer

Event:

Orchids with Expert Hermann Pigors
Feb. 14 and 15
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Chalet Landscape, Nursery & Garden Center
3132 Lake Avenue
Wilmette
www.ChaletNursery.com

Tony’s Tips:

It’s not too early to choose seed packets for flowers or vegetables and plan your summer gardens and containers. March is a good time for seed starting for some varieties.

To begin, you’ll need clean flats, trays or pots, seed starting mix, potting soil, labels and artificial light.

Make sure “cells” have drainage, fill with seed starting mix

Dampen thoroughly, sow seeds according to package depth

Tamp gently to make sure seeds are in firm contact with starting mix

Lightly mist to make sure the surface is damp

Cover with glass or plastic wrap to allow for humidity

A room temperature of 70-75 degrees F will cover broadest range of seed needs

Consider using propagation mat to create bottom heat

Remove covering when 50% of seeds have germinated

Give 12-16 hours of artificial light 4” above the plants – move as they grow

If using only sunlight, you’ll need at least 6 hours of direct sun for stocky plants

Transplant to individual pots when first set of true leaves appears

Fertilize with a diluted water soluble fertilizer at transplant time

Always “harden off” gradually before planting outdoors

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