Seeds Indoors Part 2 Tiger Tip
Seeds Indoors Part 2
Whatever your motivation is for starting seeds indoors, the process can be fun and simple. When you understand what factors influence a seed you’ll be able to create a formula for success, and then repeat it again and again.
Light is one of the most important factors to creating a healthy, strong seedling. There are some seeds, usually very tiny ones, which receive part of their signals to germinate from light. These seeds should be only lightly covered or sprinkled directly on top of moist soil. Some seeds, usually larger ones, can have their germination inhibited by exposure to light. It is vital that these seeds are sown deep enough to be in complete darkness until germinated. Your Botanical Interests seed packet will have any special sowing instructions you need to consider.
Ample light is also one on the major factors influencing the physical strength of seedlings. Sufficiently intense light of the right duration will make a shorter, stronger seedling than weaker light sources. A basic and adequate setup can be as simple as four fluorescent tubes, two cool and two warm spectrum, hung no more than three inches from the top of your seedlings. A timer will help you consistently deliver 14 hours or more of light per day.
Temperature is the factor in the life of a plant, especially germination, which governs the rate at which things happen. While the ideal germination temperature for some plants may be higher or lower, normal household temperatures are usually within the range that encourages germination in a vast majority of commonly grown plants. If temperatures are too low, germination may slow or stop entirely. There are some plants that germinate at a higher ideal temperature. Many of these are tropical plants grown as annual flowers and vegetables in cooler climates. They include but are not limited to: asparagus, begonia, celosia, impatiens, petunia, tomato, watermelon, cucumber, eggplant, pepper, pumpkin, zucchini, and melons. All of these plants germinate at an ideal temperature above 70° F. You can increase germination percentage and speed by applying heat to your soil. You can do this by placing trays and pots near a heat vent, radiator, or other gentle heat source. You can also buy a specially designed heat mat made for this purpose at your garden center.