Timing Seed Starting - Knowledgebase Question

Hazleton, PA
Avatar for tree54
Question by tree54
December 29, 1997
I enjoy starting my seed inside when winter is still here. What month would be appropriate to put them on the window? It seems I may be doing it too early, they get real leggy and moldy and don't do too well. Am I using the wrong soil by using oneof those peat mixes?

Answer from NGA
December 29, 1997
When to start your seed depends a lot on what you want to grow. Let us know what you have in mind and we can tell you when to plant seeds. You are right, when started too early all kinds of problems can arise. When starting from seed it is very important to use a sterile, soilless mix. That way you know the planting medium is sterile (no disease or critters), provides good aeration, and good water retention. Seedlings also appreciate even lighting. A window is OK but they really prefer light from above, like a fluorescent light suspended so it is 1-2" above the seedlings. If you put them on a window sill be sure to turn them so they aren't always growing toward the light. Be sure the window isn't drafty. You can cut down on the mold by watching watering practices. The best thing to do is to plant your seeds in moist mix, cover the containers with plastic (either a cell pack cover or cellophane- just don't let it touch the soil), and don't water again until seeds sprout. After that water lightly with a watering can with a fine spray or a mist bottle.

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