Growing Seeds Indoors

Growing seeds indoors will help you control the climatic and environmental conditions required for successful germination of the seeds.

To grow flowers, herbs, spices and vegetables, one requires seeds. Mostly, seeds are used to propagate plants as compared to other methods; cuttings or rhizomes. One of the primary advantages of indoor gardening is that when seeds are sown indoors and then when plant are started indoors, and transplanted outdoors, they produce the flowers and vegetables earlier, and for a longer time. Growing seeds indoors requires some basic considerations, some of which have been listed below.

Growing Seeds Indoors
Before we get down to actual sowing and growing from seed indoors, let’s understand a little about seed germination process. Seed germination is the oldest way for plants to be propagated or reproduced. When plants start from seeds, they are most true to their mother plants. For seeds to germinate successfully indoors, light, moisture and soil type is essential to maintain. Besides this, following few things are needed.
•    Good quality seeds
•    Containers
•    Sowing medium
How to Sow Seeds Indoors
Seeds can be either bought, or collected from last years yield. Most plant supply stores will stock that special color or cultivator you are looking for, so they are worth a check. Good quality seeds should be free from weed seeds, and the packages will contain information about its sowing time and individual requirements. The type of container you use will determine the time of seed germination. One can use wooden flats, fiber trays, plastic trays, clay and/or plastic pots to sow and germinate seeds. Whichever container you take, it must be clean, sterilized and sturdy to hold the growing medium in it.

The growing medium should be loose and well-drained. One can use commercially pre-prepared sowing mixes, or make one at home. A common mix to make at home would include one part weed free soil, one part clean fine sand, one part peat moss and some vermi-compost or other organic compost. A few soil free growing mixes are also available with instructions about growing seeds indoors. Fill the container until ¾ filled with the sowing mix, and level the surface. Moisten the soil completely with a water sprayer, and allow excess water to drain thoroughly.

Using the tip of your finger, or a pencil, draw a straight line across the sowing medium, and gently drop the seeds in it. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. If the seeds are very fine, mix them with a little sand for equal distribution and sprinkle it on the sowing medium. Fine seeds may or may not be covered. Place a plastic sheet or a newspaper over the container, and leave it in a warm place.

How to Grow Seeds Indoors
Once the seeds are sown, you have to make it conducive for the seeds to germinate well. Your seeds will do well, if you provide them with the right amount of light, moisture, humidity and temperature. Keep the soil moist, but not too wet, as the seeds will rot in too much dampness. Depending upon the size of the seed, it will germinate in 3 to 14 days. Take the cover out once you see the delicate seedling sprouts. Move them towards a natural light source if possible, else make use of some cool white florescent bulbs. Seedlings need light to grow strong. Allow the seedlings to reach a six leaf stage before hardening them off for transplantation. Hardening should be done one week prior to planting them in another place. Start by introducing them to more sun each day, and then after a week, go ahead and plant them in the soil. For starters, you can try growing apple trees from seeds and also growing cactus from seeds.

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