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Should I Start Seeds Indoors This Year?

in Informational

Should I Start Seeds Indoors This Year?

As the days continue to get shorter up here in British Columbia, avid gardeners begin to wonder if they should be starting seeds indoors. There is some work involved in starting seeds indoors, but there are also some wonderful advantages, such as lengthening your growing season, having a great science experiment for your children, and having more control over your planting calendar.

In this blog article we’re going to give you the main information you need to start your seeds indoors.

Lengthening the growing season

Plants that bear fruits and vegetables need a certain number of sunny days above a certain temperature in order to flower and bear their crop. That’s why we have difficulty growing some things up here like Brussels sprouts. (Other vegetables mature very quickly, like radishes.)

By starting seeds inside, you are effectively lengthening your growing season. You are growing indoors and allowing your vegetables a good, strong start before it’s warm enough to plant them outside.

A science experiment

It’s great fun to start seeds indoors. And in the beginning, seeds need warmth more than they need light. The baby plants don’t need light until they have some true leaves. So, you will need a warm spot or a heating pad to keep the seeds warm while they are sprouting.

Most seeds also need moisture. That means they need a cover of sorts, like a dome or even some plastic wrap to contain moisture.

Some seeds need some kind of treatment before they will sprout. They may need to be put in the refrigerator for a few days (cold shock) or they may need to be scored with a knife. Be sure to do your homework and find out if your seeds need anything special in order to grow. (Irises do, for example.) It can be great fun for your children (and you!) to watch your seeds come to life.

When the plants get big enough, you can transplant them into little pots. Some seeds/plants don’t like to be moved. For those plants, you’re better off starting them in little peat pots where they can grow undisturbed and even planted into the ground right in their peat pots.

Control over the planting calendar

By starting seeds indoors, you have your bedding-out plants long before anyone else, and you get to decide when you’re ready to plant. While Art Knapp will have plenty of bedding out plants available for you when the time comes, you have a jump on everyone else if you start your seeds indoors.

Art Knapp will have all of the materials available for starting seeds indoors: seeds, pots, rooting hormones, fertilizers, potting soil, and trays with lids. Come to the store and talk to the staff if you’re interested in starting seeds indoors.

Artificial lighting is a big topic beyond the scope of this article, but eventually you will need some kind of artificial light if you are growing seedlings, so they can have 12 hours of light per day.

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey.

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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