Here’s Part 2 of our ongoing series about starting seeds rather than buying transplants. Check out Part 1 to prepare yourself.
Again, don’t forget to read the suggested planting times and locations on the seed packets. For example, tomatoes should be started ahead indoors. Squash plants do much better when started out in the garden after the weather and the soil both warm up. You can always experiment (and you might be successful) but gardening advice is based on the collective experience of many over long years…you can usually save yourself from wasted effort if you pay attention to the packets.
Instead of taking my own pictures of seed starting (my fingers were dirty and it was too hard to hold the camera!), I’m referring you to a post on Renee’s Garden website–much better than I can do: Renee’s Garden “Growing Tomatoes from Seed Indoors – Technique Tips with Photos.”
For my own seed starting efforts, I used Sungold orange cherry tomato seeds (very sweet hybrids that have done a good job for me over the past several seasons in pots on my not-really-sunny-enough deck) from Renee’s Garden. If you, too, are starting tomato seeds for eventual planting in pots you might want to stick with determinate varieties; sometimes the indeterminate ones get too big and rangy for the pots to handle. You’ll notice I broke that rule and went with indeterminate–I have big pots that will eventually hold the plants.
A general rule: cover whatever seed you’re planting with a layer of soil that roughly approximates the height of the seed. Tiny seeds need just a dusting of soil to cover them and so on.
Go get your hands dirty!