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Starting Seeds for your Garden

These 4-H’ers started their own seeds and sold them in a plant sale to raise money to help feed hungry children in their communities.

It seems like as the weather warms, we all start itching to get outside. A favorite outdoor project of many of our 4-H’ers is starting plants from seeds.  There is something exciting and satisfying about raising your own vegies or flowers from seed.

If you’ve never started your own seedlings before, you’re in for a treat.  It’s not as hard as you may think.  Seeds can be purchased locally at any feed and seed store, nursery, or garden center.  Follow the planting instructions on the package, and don’t be afraid to ask store employees for advice.  We also have vegetable planting guides at your local Extension office with best times to plant, planting depths, seed and row spacing, etc. These are free of charge, so feel free to call, email, or stop by to pick one up.

For first timers, now is the time to research.  Get your plan together for what you’re planting and when it needs to be sewn.  Then start collecting containers.  Special seed trays can be purchased, or you can recycle old nursery trays and pots if they’re cleaned properly with a mild solution of bleach and water and rinsed well.  You can also use disposable cups, newspapers can be turned into biodegradable pots very easily, or you can sew seeds in old deli trays, rotisserie chicken containers, milk jugs, almost anything that will hold a couple inches of soil.

Seed starting is a great project for all 4-H’ers and it’s a great way to teach responsibility, record keeping, teamwork, and care for living things.

These 4-H’ers are working together to fill orders at the plant sale. They started these plants from seed.

For more information on 4-H gardening programs, contact your local 4-H agent.

PG

Author: Whitney Cherry - cherryw@ufl.edu

Whitney Cherry is a 4-H Extension Agent in the NW District.